An Investigation in the Stand up Time of Stopes for Birchtree Mines in Thompson, Manitoba

CIM MEMO 2011
Matthew Violot, Doug Milne, Denis Thibodeau, Cecile Kelly,
Abstract An Investigation in the Stand up Time of Stopes for Birchtree Mines in Thompson, Manitoba

Matthew Violot, Doug Milne, Denis Thibodeau, Cecile Kelly

Abstract

Vale Canada’s Birchtree Mine, located in Thompson, Manitoba, has been experiencing problems with dilution within their open stopes. They employ a VBM (vertical block mining) method, which on average uses three lifts to extract the block. The hanging wall, footwall, and stope block backs are all areas of concern for potential dilution. Birchtree is interested in determining how time affects the stability of their open stope blocks. Many factors affect open stope stability (rockmass quality, joint condition, stress condition) and must be considered when assessing stand-up time. The study aims at determining the effect of exposure time on open stope dilution and will combine stress analysis and empirical based approaches. An empirical based method is preferred as it allows for continued improvement in design guidelines as additional case histories are collected. Empirical methods also provide a quick and easy way to assess rockmass stability and ultimately stand-up time. Current stoping areas as well as case histories provide the data necessary for analysis.
Keywords: Stability, empirical, Stoping, Stand-up Time
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