THE OPTIMAL BLOCK SIZE IN THE BLOCK CAVING MINING METHOD

World Mining Congress
Nowadays along with population growth, industry development, consumption of mineral resources and the fact that the reserves on hand are running out, the depth of surface and underground mines for further exploitation are increasing. During recent years, in underground mining, the block caving method for low-grade and large-scale deposits has shown a growing rate of application. This method is very cost effective and economically affordable. The dimensions of blocks are one of the most important parameters which should be taken into account since it has been proved to have a great deal of effect on technical issues such as commencement of caving and mine design. Proper calculation of the length and width for a block in this method leads to proper caving and discharging which are the most important stages. Therefore, in this method, the calculation of the optimized dimensions (length and width) of blocks is not only important but also directly helps the productivity of extraction. In this study, firstly for the purpose of facilitation, some assumptions were considered and having used these assumptions for estimation of optimized length and width of block, a relationship based on rock mechanics and physics was explored. Furthermore, some necessary details were added to the said relationship and finally, it was transformed into an inequality. Solving this inequality provides us with the optimized length and width of the block. The explored relationship was analyzed with MATLAB software and the graphs thereof were drawn. In these graphs, each time one of the input parameters has been drawn up in a logical range so that it could be compared with previous states.
Keywords: Caving; minerals; mineral; minerals; Block caving; Density; Mines; Mine; mining;
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