Rock Mass Air Permeability Test Results and Applications to Underground Mining

Stephen Klemmer, Doug Milne, Rashid Bashir, Jarret Thomson,
Abstract Potential problems associated with groundwater inflows are a major concern to many Northern Saskatchewan mining operations. Rock mass behaviour and stability have been linked to groundwater inflow potential. An estimate of the hydraulic conductivity of the rock mass is an important factor for assessing groundwater inflow potential.

This paper presents the procedure taken and the results obtained from air permeability tests which have been done to estimate the hydraulic conductivity of the rock mass. Tests were conducted near underground excavations with the goal of also assessing any links between measured air permeability, rock mass classification and the rock mass response to adjacent excavations. Measured changes in air permeability corresponding to the distance from excavation boundaries may indicate changes to joint properties such as joint aperture, continuity and frequency. This study outlines the instrumentation, the experimental and analytical procedures, and the preliminary results from testing.
Keywords: Rock Mass Classification, Hydraulic conductivity, Joint properties, Air Permeability
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