Screen Deck Application at Goldcorp’s Dome Mine Operation
The Dome underground mine located in South Porcupine, Ontario, approximately 10 kilometers East of Timmins, Ontario has been in continuous operation from 1910 until its closure in May 2004. Over 15.3 million ounces were produced over a mine life of 100 years. After the completion of underground mining in 2004 the mine shaft remained under care and maintenance until the underground mine was re-opened in 2006 due to a favorable economic environment and a change in mining method which allowed for the extraction of ore previously considered uneconomic. The reactivation mining plan was based on bulk mining of approximately 1,200,000 tonnes at 4.39 g/t. Bulk mining in previously mined zones involves extracting large size stopes that encapsulate previously mined narrow vein stopes (mined by cut and fill mining methods). One risk of the project was a fill separation concept never before tested underground. The two main zones to be mined comprise a total of 958,400 tonnes of which 181,800 tonnes (19%) are backfill tonnes. It is therefore imperative to separate the backfill from the rock to reduce the negative impacts of handling the backfill on the ore pass, crushers and mill processes. Separating the backfill from the ore at the source would also reduce and/or eliminate the cost of handling this waste stream. The presentation will touch on the backfill removal criteria, the risks, the alternatives and the selected method, screen decks, for backfill removal at the Dome Mine.