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CPTu testing to establish the profile of mine's orebodies

Geomech Africa was recently contracted to help Tronox Fairbreeze mine establish certain geotechnical properties of their orebodies as a basis for future mine expansion.
Over the duration of the project, the team conducted 57 CPTu tests, at depths up to fifty meters, reaching 1030.41 m in total. Fifty meters is very deep for CPTu testing and many of the tests were required in soft soil. These factors posed some interesting challenges.

CPTu testing in very soft material can cause deflection of the CPTu probe to undesirable degrees because the soil is not strong enough to hold the probe relatively straight as it descends. This became more of a challenge as the depth of the required tests increased up to 50m in some cases. Positioning the truck mounted rig as level as possible above the testing position, and a fair bit of manual digging, helped to mitigate the deflection effects of the soft soil.

In addition to having to position the test rigs on level ground, our drivers were required to manoeuvre through forests used for paper production to reach many of the CPTu test points. Our driver’s skills were certainly put to the test during this project.