Hanging wall (HW) sloughage is one of the main sources of ore dilution in underground open stope mines. This paper presents the results of a series of numerical analyses performed to investigate HW sloughage potential in open stope underground mines. Hybrid DFN-3DEC models were developed to assess the sloughage zone that can form in a stope hanging wall that consists of a weak and highly fractured rock mass quality. The influence of leaving 1 m and 2 m of ore-skin of higher rock mass quality, unmined along the weak hanging wall zone, on the potential hanging wall sloughage was investigated. The main advantages of hybrid DFN-3DEC models for assessment of hangingwall sloughage potential are their capacity to represent the structural complexity of the rock masses (through the DFN model) and to address the effect of confining stresses on the unravelling process.

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