A geotechnical model is the fundamental basis for the design of an open-pit and underground mines. A fully understood and representative geotechnical model provides information on the engineering characteristics of the rock mass, defining how it will behave during excavation. The model’s individual domains, each comprised of materials exhibiting internally similar geotechnical properties, reveal the... Continue reading.
Recently, SRK Chile was involved in a caving project in Chile and in charge of numerical modelling to analyse pillars and overall mine stability and to define ground support. The review of the basic geotechnical information was the first task performed, pointing out an underestimation of the Geological Strength Index (GSI). The client justified the... Continue reading.
In 2001, Laubscher’s Mining Rock Mass Rating (MRMR) classification system (Laubscher and Jakubec, 2001) introduced the rock block strength concept to account for scale effects and the influence of closed defects on intact rock strength (IRS). Almost two decades later, rock mechanics practitioners are still challenged by how to appropriately incorporate defects, other than open... 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.
SRK carried out a scoping study on an existing open pit operation (12 Mtpa) that is soon to be reaching a depth where the mine will need to transition to a large-scale underground mining method. The goal was to provide production continuity at a rate that will still be suitable to maximise use of the... 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.
Mass mining including block caving, incline caving, front caving, sub-level caving and sub-level retreat are the principal mining methods for primary diamond deposits worldwide. Diamonds have only been mined on an industrial scale within the past 150 years, mainly as open pit mines. Underground mining of those deposits was first implemented within the second half... Continue reading.
This presentation summarizes a talk given during the inaugural workshop of the Cave Mining Forum. 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... Continue reading.