This paper describes studies into two particular aspects of the Lochiel deposit which formed part of feasibility level geot2chnical and hydrogeological investigations for proposed open cut mine development. The two aspects were depressurisation of thick beds of silt located through the profile and the determination of characteristics and origins of soil structure and their effect on pit stability. The studies were very detailed and multi disciplinary and highlight the integration of geology, geotechnics, hydrogeology and mining that is required for mine development studies. It is considered that as more marginal deposits are developed throughout the world the demands for efficient economic mining together with in- creasing scales of operation will require simi- lar types of studies. As such the studies pre- sented herein are likely to be a forerunner to a,emerging trend for development of open pit mines in difficult ground and water conditions.