Development and utilization of a field data sheet for consideration of rock engineering problems in underground hard rock mining.

CIM Vancouver 2002
Hendrik A.D. Kirsten, Quinn W. Walter, Eric L. Smith,
Abstract Stillwater Mining Company, the largest primary producer of platinum and palladium in the Western Hemisphere, has developed, and utilizes a comprehensive field data collection sheet when addressing underground rock engineering matters. Use of a field data sheet is by no means unique in the industry, and this method employs features derived from data collection systems at other hard rock mines. The process utilized by Stillwater Mining Company considers as many as 200 factors. Rock mass quality, discontinuity orientation, opening geometry, stress level and probabilities of failure are assessed on one side of the sheet while support quantity and quality are assessed on the other. This data collection/support assessment system works as a tool to exercise judgment around a particular rock engineering issue. It also adheres to the company’ view on rock engineering, which facilitates the training of operators in the philosophy of rock engineering principles rather than attempting to provide an education in mechanics. The process establishes a culture of understanding of rock engineering principles as well as an empirical database and awareness of good ground support practice by the mine operators.
Keywords: Hardrock, Field Data Sheet, Rock engineering, Underground mining, Rock Mass Quality, Ground support assessment
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