OPTIMIZING STOPE SEQUENCE IN A DIMINISHING ORE PILLAR: A CASE STUDY

World Mining Congress
Numerical modeling is increasingly being used as a tool to examine complex geomechanical issues related to rockmass behaviour and stability of underground openings. The in-situ stress regime and the evolution of mining-induced stresses during the life of an operation, taking into account the planned stope sequence, are topics that can only be handled through the use of a realistic and calibrated numerical model. This paper presents a case study of a deep underground Canadian mine in northern Ontario. A FLAC3D model was constructed and calibrated based on in-situ stress measurements. In the first stage, the evolution of stress regime was studied and compared with the occurrence of rockburst events during a period of three years. The locations of clusters were examined and compared to the mining sequence during that period. In the second stage, stresses within a diminishing ore pillar were examined based on the planned stope sequence and compared to levels deemed acceptable to the mine. Based on the results, an alternative sequence was arrived at to reduce stress accumulation in the pillar, or induce it to occur at a further distance from a brittle dyke in the vicinity of the orebody.
Keywords: Rockburst; Rockbursts; stope; stopes; Dykes; Shears; Shear; stress; Ore;
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