RAPID DEVELOPMENT IN CANADA, MYTH OR REALITY? AN UNDERGROUND MINING CONTRACTOR’S PERSPECTIVE

CIM Montreal 2015
Guy Hubert (J.S. Redpath Limited)
Project owners and mine operators are constantly looking for solutions to accelerate the development of underground mine accesses and infrastructure on project critical paths. Rapid Development or Rapid Drifting is often identified as the solution to bring forward production startup dates with the ultimate goal of maximizing return on investment. In Canada, Rapid Development often carries an exotic flavor as many world records and case studies originate from abroad.

J.S. Redpath Limited, a large underground contracting firm with offices and projects on six continents, has been involved in recent years where innovative techniques were implemented on Canadian projects to shorten the development cycle both in single and multiple heading scenarios. This paper presents a comparison between conventional methods currently in use for installing primary ground support, the Australian technique of bolting and meshing with jumbos equipped with telescopic booms, in-cycle shotcreting and the use of two jumbos and two mechanized bolters set up side-by-side in wide headings. Safety, performance, ground support regimes, quality, work organization, sequencing, operator skills, training, maintenance, costs, benefits and local regulatory requirements are discussed and supported by actual contractor case studies.
Mots clés : rapid, Australia, shotcrete, safety, bolting, Redpath, development, performance
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