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.
Mudrush, mudflow, or mudpush are the most common terms describing uncontrolled ingress of assorted mixture of water and solids. Mudrush is the underground equivalent of surface debris flow. It can have different origins but produce the same results: injury, loss of life, damage to property, excess dilution, and production delays, or — in extreme cases... Continue reading.
SRK performed a comprehensive redevelopment of the geotechnical model for an existing large panel caving operation with the aim of assisting cave planning and design in five future cave blocks. Initially, separate models were created for the individual blocks to allow for smaller, more focused models; however, a large all-encompassing model was subsequently created. The... 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.
The Chuquicamata underground mine in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile is one of the largest planned mining projects in the world to use block caving with macro-blocks option to mine copper ore. CODELCO is currently finishing the detailed engineering stage and constructing the main infrastructure for the project. The underground mine is expected to... Continue reading.