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Gabions and their ability to resolve slope instability problems


Maccaferri gabions are easily installed in dry and wet conditions, and construction can even engage the local community!

Maccaferri gabions can be used for a myriad of different purposes including soil retention, hydraulic works and erosion control. The woven wire mesh gabion product has the advantage of being flexible, easy to install and cost-effective. A project by OceanaGold in the Philippines clearly shows this solution in action.

OceanaGold (Philippines), Inc.owns and operates the Didipio Gold and Copper mine in Nueva Vizcaya, Philippines. The construction of a 24-kilometre access road was required prior to opening the site for operation. Large areas of mountain slopes were cut to make way for the access road. These cut slopes, when exposed to rain, were prone to possible failures and could hinder the progress of site construction. Prevention measures were taken to ensure that slope failures were minimized or totally eradicated.

This is a common problem when vegetation is removed in the process of reprofiling the slope, especially in climates where rainfall can be intense. Established vegetation firstly protects the vulnerable cut slope from rain impact and wash off, and also its root systems serve to bind together the surficial soil layer.

Slope erosion, if allowed to continue can lead to deeper structural stability problems within the slope.The solution proposed by Maccaferri (Philippines), Inc. through the Contractor, Infratex Philippines Inc., was a gabion gravity wall system. Gabions are very effective retaining structures as they are flexible and free-draining. Often, locally available rock can be a suitable fill materials, further enhancing the environmental credentials of the solution and also reducing the installation costs.

Gabions are also quickly assembled, even during the rainy season, without the need of trained labour or special equipment so local workers can benefit from the project. Maccaferri’s gabions are made from high-quality steel wire, which is heavily galvanized to provide long-term corrosion protection. An additional protective polymeric coating is also applied to gabions that are to be used in more aggressive environments, or where a longer design life is required.

For more technical information, download our case history.

For more general information, contact us.

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