Interpreteting Core Data and Rock Quality Information for Successful Stope Design in a Poor Quality Rock Mass

Mining Rocks! CIM Toronto 2005
Geoff Capes, Don Grant, Douglas Milne,
Abstract An opportunity was presented to analyse stope performance and geotechnical information at George Fisher Lead-Zinc mining operations beginning in October 2003. This paper represents how an in depth analysis into site geotechnical data and stope reconciliation led to major changes in stope design, a reduction in dilution, and a significiant increase in mining efficiencies to safely meet production targets.

Detailed geotechnical data collection for a mine site or particular stoping area represents a vault of information which is time consuming to review. However, it is this time spent that can make a significant difference in rock mass behaviour understanding. Simplification and averaging of conditions into zones of similarity, called structural domains are common approaches for managing large amounts of data. There is a tendency to average rock mass properties to obtain inputs for numerical modelling and empirical design tools. This approach may be misleading if the inhomogeneity of the rock mass is contributing to the failure mode. Presented is a novel approach for rock mass characterisation and stope design in a bedded sedimentary rock mass.
Keywords: Rock mechanics, Mine Dilution, Hanging Wall Stability
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