Application of Mine Fill at Barrick Gold

9th International Symposium on Mining with Backfill
Russ Evans, Jerry Ran, Richard Allan,
Abstract Backfilling of voids generated by underground mining is commonly performed to provide regional and local support, improve extraction rates and dilution control, and to allow for convenient waste rock disposal. This process may account for a major portion of the mining cost and has drawn substantial research interest from the mining industry. There is now a wide range of plant designs and delivery systems being used to conform to variable application conditions. Information and best practice sharing has been a key component in advancing technology in mine fill applications.

Barrick is a leading international gold mining company, with a portfolio of twenty seven operating mines and seven advanced exploration and development projects located across five continents. The application of mine fill is an integral part of the mining cycle at most of Barrick’s twelve underground mines. In these mines, backfill has a significant impact on ore recovery, ground stability and operational performance. Extensive experience has been accumulated in the operation of a variety of backfill systems at Barrick mines.

This paper reviews and summarizes the applications and experience in backfilling at Barrick mines. Descriptions of the applications are provided as are examples of backfill system controls and quality control programs. Current issues and development programs are also discussed to highlight areas of potential improvement.
Keywords: Mine Fill, extraction rate, Dilution, Quality control, regional support
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