Mine Planning for Ore Dilution

CIM Montreal 2007
Hani S. Mitri,
Abstract Unplanned ore dilution has a direct and large influence on the cost of a stope, and ultimately on the profitability of a mining operation. This paper presents the results of a study of the factors causing ore dilution in a blasthole stoping environment. A series of 3-D numerical models were developed and analyzed to examine the effect of mining depth, stope geometry and stope setting within the orezone extraction sequence. To quantify modelled ore dilution from the three-dimensional simulations, the ore Dilution Density (DD) is a term introduced in this study to denote potential hanging-wall overbreak.

It was found that hanging-wall overbreak is not significantly influenced by depth alone, and that stopes with large or small axial ratios are more stable than large rectangular stopes. It was also demonstrated that, in addition to stope dimension, the amount of unplanned dilution differed according to stope type. Five stope types were identified, based on their position within a tabular blasthole mining sequence.

The methodology presented in this paper can be adopted to develop mine-specific design tools for the estimation of ore dilution associated with a proposed mine design. This can prove extremely helpful in the process of underground mine planning and optimization.
Keywords: Ore dilution, stope dimension, hanging-wall overbreak, stope type, 3-D numerical modelling
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