Geotechnical Engineering

Norwest’s geotechnical group offers a comprehensive range of services to meet the life cycle needs of any type of mining operation. From scoping level to active operations through to site closure, our technical staff members are well-versed in providing practical, cost-effective, and often integrated solutions to every project. We bring world-wide experience from various coal, metals, and industrial mineral operations, with a strong focus on oil sands development.
Our expertise generally covers the following main areas: slope stability, design of earth structures, mine waste management, instrumentation and monitoring programs, mine closure planning, and tailings management.

Our services include:


Geotechnical Designs:

  • Detailed designs for open-pit slopes.
  • Detailed designs for waste dumps, rock piles, and earth dam structures.
  • Slope stability assessments and evaluation of stabilization methods.
  • Life of mine designs.
  • Infrastructure offset or boundary assessments.
  • Mine waste management planning.
  • Tailings management and reclamation assessments (e.g. capping).
  • Geosynthetics designs.
  • Mine closure, progressive reclamation, and geomorphic landscape designs.

Operational Support:

  • Geotechnical support for operating mines, from short-range to long-range planning.
  • Construction material suitability studies (to optimize the use of mine waste for construction).
  • Design and completion of instrumentation and monitoring programs.
  • Design optimization based on detailed site information.

Other Areas Including:

  • Geotechnical site characterization and foundation assessments.
  • Evaluation of tailings technologies
  • Construction inspection and quality control/assurance
  • Rock slope hazard assessments
  • Evaluation of re-sloping options