GWP Consultants

Evaluation, Design, Delivery & Management of Earth & Water Resource Projects

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Penrhyn Quarry


Geotechnics is a high profile area and one of continuing importance. Expertise in geotechnics is the foundation of much of our work and is integral to the overall viability of many projects.

GWP provides advice on a range of geotechnical and related matters including:






Quarry Design & Optimisation  

GWP has extensive experience of designing quarries and associated structures in a wide range of geotechnical and geological settings worldwide.  The design of secure excavated slopes, stockpiles, tips and lagoons is fundamental to a successful quarry development plan and requires a sound understanding of the nature of the materials.  Geotechnical design plays a pivotal role in the quarry design process which aims to maximise recovery within the limits imposed by environmental impacts, geology, ownership and planning constraints.  Restrictions imposed sometimes require innovative solutions including over steepening and reinforcement of weak overburden slopes to release mineral below.

Stability Analysis  

Stability analysis is used to demonstrate the security of proposed operations. It ca n include back-analysis of failures. For many assessments conventional limit equilibrium analysis using Rocscience's Slide is suitable. However, if more detailed analysis is required, numerical modelling can be undertaken using FLAC Finite Difference program, UDEC, (a Distinct Element method), or Rocscience's Phase2 Finite Element method for both rock and soil applications.

Rock Mass Characterisation  

Rock mass characterisation and diggability assessments for tunnels, face and blast design. These can be used to determine whether blasting is required and what block size distribution may be obtained.

Rockfall Assessment & Mitigation 

Rockfall hazard, risk analysis and rockfall containment design, including rapid slope assessment to rank areas of greatest potential danger and predictive rockfall trajectory analysis to size containment measures such as fences, ditches etc.

Mining Subsidence  

GWP has provided advice and assistance, including Expert Witness evidence, for a variety of clients including Network Rail, major quarry operators and government agencies regarding the ongoing effects of past mining activity on modern structures and development including:

  • the assessment and recommendation for treatment of old mine workings;
  • the computation of effects of old mine workings on stability of slopes including quarry excavations, tips, landslips and infrastructure;
  • the potential for reactivation of mine subsidence in response to flooding.

Site Investigation  

Desk studies, design site investigation programmes with sample collection, scheduling of laboratory testing, interpretation of the results and subsequent design of the earthworks can be undertaken.

Earthworks Design  

GWP have extensive experience of designing lagoons, lakes, embankment dams, flood embankments, buttresses and cut slopes.  When required GWP will take on the role and responsibilities of Designer in accordance with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) 2015, and can manage the tender process and provide Construction Quality Assurance (CQA) supervision during the construction stage.


GWP offers on-site Geotechnical training by geotechnical engineers with extensive experience in safe and effective assessment and design of quarries, tips and lagoons throughout the UK and Ireland.

These courses are tailored specifically for particular quarries (hard rock or sand & gravel) and are suitable for quarry managers, foremen, face workers and anyone working at or near quarry faces, tips, lagoons, stockpiles, or old mine workings. The duration can be from a half a day to 2 days and often include time on site to identify and discuss the issues.

Course content can include:

  • Excavated slopes - hard rock, weak rock or sand and gravel;
  • Tips and stockpiles;
  • Lagoons;
  • Haul roads.


GWP provides specialist advice on a wide range of issues in relation to rock blasting and excavation. Services include:

  • Characterisation of rock masses;
  • Assessment of natural block size distributions for armour stone production;
  • Diggability studies and equipment selection;
  • Face profiling, blast designs and monitoring;
  • Environmental Impact Assessment relating to vibrations;
  • Blast fragmentation studies.

Remedial Design  

Design of remedial works following slope failure or change in circumstance with emphasis on investigation and implementation of appropriate and cost effective measures.

Capability Statements

To download our Capability Statements please refer to the Downloads page.

If you would like Project Description Sheets which give examples of our work or further information regarding GWP’s experience, please do not hesitate to contact us.