Engineers Australia

Coastal cliff line stability and regression in the Newcastle Region

Paul Lambert and David Nelmes

Abstract

The Hunter Coalfield has been the fastest growing area of coal production in NSW over the past decade with the greatest expansion in mining operations, particularly open cut, occurring in the Singleton-Muswellbrook area. An increase in size and depth of open cut mines combined with stringent safety regulations and the need to maximize coal recovery has resulted in increased geotechnical awareness in most coal mines. This paper provides a general overview of geotechnical issues associated with open cut operations in the Hunter Coalfield and highlights the benefits of prediction, management and (ideally) prevention of slope instability.