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.
In sublevel caving operations, it is imperative that the production blastholes be drilled accurately so that there is no risk of unblasted ore remaining between adjacent drawpoints. Post-drilling assessment is the process of mitigating this risk by verifying that blastholes have been drilled accurately with the correct length and orientation, following the blast design. Although... 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.
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.
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.
Since the 1990s, ‘mine-to-mill’ studies have evaluated the impact of blast fragmentation on downstream plant throughput. This was because crushing and grinding circuits (in particular, SAG mills) are sensitive to feed size and the amount of fines generated from blasting. Significant gains in grinding circuit efficiency could be achieved by controlling and optimising blast fragmentation.... Continue reading.
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.