Summary of twenty-four surface crown pillar case studies

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 81, No. 915, 1988
M.C. BETOURNAY CANMET-EMR, Ottawa Ontario, S. MANTEL Roche Ltee, Groupe Conseil, Ste. Foy, Quebec and D. LESSARD Centre de Recherches minerales, Ste. Foy, Quebec
Abstract Surface crown pillars are important Canadian mining structures. Mines operating in the Canadian Shield usually have several, forming a first line of protection from surface elements.
Detailed technical information from twenty-four Canadian hard rock mines show that the deposits dip steeply and are generally either single or multiple veins. Considerable overburden usually cap the deposits. The rock mass is often altered and intersected by important discontinuities.
The designs for these types of pillars lack basic data and are based on experience rather than a scientific approach. Regardless of the competence of the rock mass, the surface crown-pillar thickness to width ratios (an unscientific design tool used by the industry) are usually less than five. Rock bolting is, in almost every case, used as a support measure. However, there are many openings neither backfilled nor monitored.
The characteristics of openings with surface crown pillars are also examined.
Keywords: Rock mechanics, Surface crown pilliars Pillar design, Case studies, Underground mining
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