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.
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.
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.
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.