Economics and Perspectives of Underground Backfill Practices in Canadian Mining
Two comprehensive national surveys, which focus upon mine backfill practice and the economics of backfilling in underground mines in Canada, have recently been conducted. The two surveys were designed to assess operational practices and costs associated with the wide scope of filling operations that must be met by individual mines, ranging from raw material feed to the preparation plant, through underground backfill transportation, to in-stope product placement.
This paper presents a review of the current state of backfill usage in Canada, identifying trends in mine fill practice, and provides mine operators with an updated database of information upon which they might compare their own practices and costs with present trends throughout the industry.
This survey information will evolve into a larger technical work that will be used to promote industrial implementation of new backfill technology within the Canadian mining industry. The eventual goals of this effort will be to reduce backfill energy costs, and enhance both the application of alternative cementing agents in backfill and the development of low-cost multi-phase flow technology in pipeline transport.