GEOMECANICS ASPECTS OF BLOCK CAVE MINE PLANNING

CIM Vancouver 2002
W Scott Dunbar, Malcolm Scoble,
Abstract Several mining operations are currently evaluating the feasibility of changing their mining method to Block Caving. There will also be several deep low-grade ore bodies that will face the need to go underground in the near future. There are two main reasons why Block Caving is attractive: firstly, it offers the lowest operating costs amongst all the mining methods; and secondly, it is truly a massive mining method, offering the highest potential production capacity. Despite its longstanding popularity, there are still significant components of the method that are not clearly understood. Also, the lack of availability of key geomechanic information still presents a major obstacle to developing mine planning and production scheduling.

Geomechanics parameters must be fully integrated in the mine planning process due to the fact that in block cave they would define overall fragmentation and productivity. Geomechanical parameters will condition the way that a block caves and the way that material is drawn from the draw points. Key issues in block caving such as cavability, fragmentation, stresses can make block cave one of the most productive and lowest mining methods

Block cave mining method is a good example where the ore body is related to design and mine planning. The concepts of dilution, draw control as well as sequence definition are reviewed in this paper to illustrate the concept.
Keywords: Underground mining, Rock mechanics, Draw control, Cavability, Mine planning, Block caving
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