Control of sodium-rich brine inflows at Central Canada Potash — Part 1: Rehabilitation, diamond drilling, grouting and backfilling
When Canadian potash was brought into production in the 1960s substantial research was carried out to develop the technology needed to cope with the unique conditions in Saskatchewan mines. The intense research has established Saskatchewan's position as a leader in production technology on a world scale, and as a leader in setting international standards for potash production. The industry is now more than two decades old and, although the mines operate efficiently, there are a number of prominent areas of concern. High among these is the prediction, prevention and control of sodium rich brine inflows. Control has proven difficult or elusive in the potash mining horizon, but work continues in this area. Control of brine in the superincumbent limestone formation has proven to be easier and more conclusive.
The first part of this paper describes the rehabiltation, diamond drilling, and grouting completed at Central Canada Potash, which reduced the brine inflow from approximately 82 l/min. at the beginning of the work to 0.9 l/min. when the backfilling was placed.
The second part of the paper describes the rationale for choosing the rock mechanical instrumentation, the reasons for their placement and the rock mechanical data recorded with some interpretation.
Rock mechanics, Diamond drilling, Grouting, Backfilling, Brine inflow control.