Examples of ground support practices for low quality rock
Low quality rock is encountered in many manifestations in underground hard rock mines, ranging from weak and poorly consolidated rock to highly altered or foliated rock. Lateral mine developments driven in low quality rock pose on-going challenges to a mine operator, as ground stability issues, such as caving of under-supported ground, drift closure due to surface deformation or buckling processes, and degradation of exposed rock surfaces are a persistent concern.
For many operators, ground support design can be an iterative process, as support practices are refined with time. Using case studies from a variety of underground hard rock mines, this paper reviews techniques for the classification of low range rockmasses and examines the rationale and effectiveness of adopted ground support systems.