In general, automation is most effectively applied to repetitive tasks, such as production loading and trucking. The significant presence of these highly repetitive tasks in a cave mining environment make automation particularly attractive. The increasing automation of mining equipment is the natural evolution of basic tele-remote operation. The primary benefit of tele-remote mining is in... Continue reading.
Cave mining, and in particular block-cave mining, stands at one end of the spectrum of mining method-related risks. It is not so much that the risks are greater, but rather that the ability of management to respond to variations in expected conditions is much less than with other mining methods. Compounding this in the case... Continue reading.
For early stage caving projects, there is usually a high degree of uncertainty in the input parameters that impact the mine design and strategy. When dealing with such uncertainty, it is better to quickly generate multiple designs and schedules that cover the likely range of key parameters rather than evaluating only a few or even... Continue reading.
Many ore deposits extend vertically, a fact which is not always known at the start of mining. If initial mining is by opencast methods and ore reserves are proven to greater depths, the pits are often planned to go deeper than originally envisaged. In such cases, surface plants and critical underground facilities — conveyor tunnels,... Continue reading.
In 2000, International Caving Study (ICS) published a practical manual on block caving by Dr. Dennis Laubscher. This first comprehensive block caving publication was co-authored by several industry experts, including Dr. Alan Guest and Jarek Jakubec of SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. Unfortunately, the distribution of this publication was not widely available. Meanwhile, the demand for... Continue reading.
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... Continue reading.