Similarities and Differences in Global Engineering Standards in Deep Level Mines
At present, companies who wish to develop underground mines, particularly deep level mines, have to conform to the regulatory requirements of these countries as well as the design standard within that country. To complicate matters further, in some countries these standard also vary internally.
It should however be possible that, these legal requirements notwithstanding, a consistent approach to the design of the primary mining systems can be achieved (ie Headframe, Shafts etc). We will not, in this paper attempt to apply a consistent approach to the design of these mine systems, however we would like to highlight the primary differences in the design approaches.
Deep mines can provide appreciable design challenges due to high dynamic and static stresses on structures and equipment. Incorporating the best design practices from across the mining world provides the potential to realise designs, which could be more efficient and cost-effective while maintaining world class safety standards.
All of the ten deepest mines in the world can be found either in South Africa or the Ontario Province of Canada. Therefore any review of the design standards currently in use for the design of deep level mining systems should consider the standards for these two jurisdictions first. In addition, in order to ensure that we discuss topics of relevance, we will limit ourselves in this document to shaft steelwork and headframe designs.
This paper will look at the specific design approaches for these two jurisdictions and the following specific areas will be examined:
i. Description of layouts and equipment types most commonly used in deep level mines in the two jurisdictions.
ii. The definition of primary loads (operating and safety requirements).
iii. The application of various loads to the structures.
iv. Load combinations for both operating and emergency conditions.
v. The load combinations required for the effective evaluation of the structures.
vi. Application of limit state design.
vii. The similarities which exist between the codes.
viii. The difference between the codes.
ix. Specific areas where cross pollination between the codes could result in better designs.
x. Potential areas of simplification and consistent application.