Featured Project

El Teniente Fragmentation Study

Project Description

Fragmentation is an important aspect of all block caving operations. The primary fragmentation can be difficult to assess, in particular in complex geological environments, and for rock masses subjected to varying stress as is normally the case in block caving.

Itasca's Role

Itasca conducted an extensive analysis of new fracturing (orientation, persistence and spacing) due to stressrelated damage as the rock mass follows the prescribed stress path. Work was carried out both on and off site and also included training courses on the use of PFC and SRM (Synthetic Rock Mass).

Project Results

Primary fragmentation was successfully predicted for a particular area in the El Teniente Mine. Technology transfer in the form of training on PFC and SRM was also conducted, with good results.

Project Image(s)

Stockwork rock mass from El Teniente, and fracture network model representing the stockwork (Brzovic and Herrera, 2011).


Brzovic, A., and S. Herrera. (2011) “Assessing Geological Vein Size And Intensity Using Discrete Fracture Network Modelling At the El Teniente Mine, Chile.,” in ARMA-11-252. ARMA: American Rock Mechanics Association.


Itasca Consultants AB


Client Name

Codelco, El Teniente Mine