Seismic source parameters used to monitor rockmass response at Brunswick Mine
Noranda’s Brunswick mine is a 10 000 t/d producer of lead-zinc-copper-silver ore that has been in operation since 1964. Mining of this multiple lens deposit is primarily by blasthole stoping techniques between 400 m and 1200 m below surface. The combination of a high overall extraction ratio, an overall steeply dipping tabular shape, and high horizontal stresses (twice the vertical) have elevated the induced stress regime to levels comparable to much deeper operations. Improved mine design, and a better understanding of how the rock mass responds to mining in high-stress environments is essential to improve overall recoveries and maintain safety. Seismic monitoring has proven to be an essential tool at Brunswick, for both short-term safety of workers, and long-term strategic planning.
Practical case studies illustrate how seismic data, particularly source parameter information, can be used to measure the rockmass response to mining and improve mining layouts in difficult regions. As the global trend continues toward mining in deeper, higher stress environments (e.g., South African Witswatersrand Basin, Sudbury Basin) and as local extraction and thus ground stresses continue to increase in existing deposits, seismic monitoring will play a critical role in mining safely and economically.
Rockmass, Seismic monitoring, Stress, Brunswick mine.