Sharing knowledge and defining challenges within the cave mining industry.

The following were first presented at Cave Mining Forum’s kickoff workshop. Click on the orange titles to see the full presentations.

Introductions | Jarek Jakubec

The welcoming note and introduction will briefly describe the concept and philosophy of the Cave Mining Forum which is primarily to connect professionals from the mining industry. Jarek will also provide a brief overview of the current cave mining world, past experiences and challenges.

InfoMine, ConferenceMine, EduMine, PeopleMine, UndergroundMine | Andy Robertson

An introduction to the community of InfoMine.

Cave Mining – Today’s Challenges | Jarek Jakubec

The industry perception is that sublevel caving is a “dirty mining method” (i.e. high dilution and low recovery). However, there were several successful sublevel cave mines executed in the past. The success of a sublevel cave mine is not by chance – they are engineered to perform. This talk will review some of the recent developments in SLC mining and poor design practices to avoid.

Chris Page will share his lifelong experiences with block and sublevel caving mines and projects around the world

Characterization for Cave Mine Design | Ryan Campbell and Wayne Barnett

For caving studies, the approach to geotechnical characterization differs from other mining methods and must address a number of cave-specific design aspects; those include: caveability, fragmentation, draw point spacing, draw strategy, subsidence, analysis, and ground support. Risk of mudrush, airblast, and rockburst has to be also evaluated. This discussion will provide a brief discussion of current best practices in geotechnical characterization.

Water in Cave Mining | Dan Mackie and Jarek Jakubec

This presentation will highlight one of the cave mining phenomenon related to surface and ground water. Water combined with clays and fine particles generated by caving processes could result in mudrushes and mudflows. This presentation will also include the discussion about mitigation strategies and mudrush risk assessments.

Automation or Not? | Chris Elliott and Iouri Iakovlev

This presentation will provide a brief overview of automation in the mining industry; in particular, its application to cave mining. Mine automation becomes more popular as it improves safety and eases fleet utilization and production rates. It can also reduce maintenance and operating costs. However, the implementation of mine automation requires full analysis of its suitability for each individual case.

Caves Complicate Closure | Daryl Hockley

This presentation will briefly discuss how cave mine closures can differ from typical underground mine closures. There is limited experience to closing cave mines so there are more questions than answers; however, it seems clear that wet climate closures, in particular, can be significantly more costly for cave mines.

Rapid Ecomonic Evaluation of Strategic Development Options for Cave Mines | Neil Winkelmann

The presentation will explain the benefits of a fully flexible, macro-driven cashflow model to rapidly assemble, evaluate, and rank strategic options in complex cave mines. The model allows for multiple production schedules across multiple caves (typically produced from PCBC) to be re-scheduled and assembled into coherent
strategies and compared across a range of evaluation parameters.

PCBC and PCSLC: Recent Development Trends | Tony Diering

Recent improvements to PCBC and PCSLC are discussed. The trend for software development as well as some ideas for the future integration of PCBC and PCSLC into
the Dassault Systemes software solutions will be outlined. Key areas are around daily operations management and improved 3D flow modeling.

Cave-to-mill | Stefan Nadolski and Davide Elmo

A refinement of the traditional Mine-to-Mill integration opportunity for copper block cave mines, referred to as Cave-to-Mill, will be presented. This is essentially the integration of underground mine production scheduling and monitoring with surface mineral processing management based upon fragment size and geo-metallurgical ore characteristics.

Design and Management of North American Block Cave Mines | Kurt Keskimaki

Designing and managing a North America block cave mine requires that the mine planning engineer and mine operations management work together to optimize
critical aspects of the mine design and infrastructure. Management have to ensure that adequate training and incentive programs are in place to motivate the workforce to achieve the best results. Efficiency is paramount in North America due to the high cost of labour.

From Construction to Production at the New Afton Block Cave | Andy Davies

Presentation will focus on an overview of the initial mine design, successes, and challenges of the New Afton Block Cave.

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