DIGGING DEEPER FOR PROFITS The Case For Block Caving

CIM Montreal 2003
Abstract Despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, the mining industry is not in decline. Rather, the world’s largest mining companies are among the most consistently profitable companies in any industry. In many cases, profitable mining companies have been built around a few large scale, long life mines. These criteria for success – size and long life – have led to the current preference for deposits that can be exploited using open pit methods. However, developments in the science of block caving have resulted in this mining method achieving costs and productivities that are competitive with the largest open pits, while achieving widespread applicability. One implication of the low costs and widespread applicability of block caving is that some current open pits are possibly too deep.
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