Barrick’s Global Approach to Ground Control Management
CIM Vancouver 2006
Jerry Ran, Robert Sharon, Richard Allan,
Ground instability is among the major causes of serious incidents and production disruptions in the mining industry and has a significant impact on safety. Mining companies may have operations in a number of jurisdictions with varied regulatory requirements for ground control management. As these companies expand into countries where mining regulations are formative or lacking clear definition, ground control practices are usually developed by local mine personnel based on their experience. In many cases inconsistent procedures and standards are generated, which can lead to an increase in occurrence of underground incidents due to difficulties and confusion in implementation. This situation has forced some mining companies to standardize their ground control practices by geographic regions or divisions. Though this approach is an improvement, there still is no coherent system for effectively managing ground control issues across all operations of a global mining company.
Barrick Gold Corporation with operations in North America, South America, Australia and Africa had decided to adopt a global approach in ground control management. This global approach requires all Barrick underground operations to prepare and implement an effective ground control management plan (GCMP) based on site specific conditions and company guidelines. It is also required that the GCMP be developed through application of sound geotechnical engineering practices and be consistent with local regulatory requirements and Barrick safety policies. All Barrick underground operations have GCMPs in place, and its surface operations are now involved in the initiative. This paper presents Barrick’s global approach to underground ground control management and outlines the content and process for the development of a GCMP.
Ground Instability, Rock mechanics, Global Approach, Safety, Ground control