School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

Postgraduate research

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Current and completed research by our postgraduate students.

Contact

Daniel Cumming-Potvin

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 3300
Fax: (+61 8) 6488 1130


Supervisors

Start date

Apr 2013

Submission date

Feb 2017

Daniel Cumming-Potvin

Thesis

Using indirect monitoring methods to quantitatively assess rock mass quality in operating block caving mines

Summary

Block caving is a mining method which has been increasingly implemented in recent times due to its low cost and high production rates. It involves undercutting the footprint of an orebody (using blasting) to a suitable hydrualic radius such that the ore column will cave, eliminating the need for primary drilling and blasting.

Due to the limited access to the orebody in the block cave process, there are few opportunities to gauge the state of the rock mass in the orebody once the caving process has begun. While the orebody has been previously divided into several qualitative caving zones (Duplancic 2001, Sainsbury 2010) there has been no system to date which can give a robust quantitative measure of the state of the rock within the cave column.

Wesseloo & Potvin (2012) created a system whereby the qualitative caving zones could be quantitatively delineated using seismic monitoring data, however the system is still based on the qualitative over-arching framework.

The proposed area of research is finding a robust quantitative method for assessing the state of the rock mass within a cave column. The method will be based on indirect monitoring data; routine seismic monitoring, seismic tomography or other monitoring techniques.

Why my research is important

Better understanding how the cave progresses in block cave operations can help companies to make more informed decisions on draw control, movement of critical infrastructure and potentially changing the mining method for future brownfields orebodies.


 

School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

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Last updated:
Thursday, 19 September, 2013 11:39 AM

http://www.ceme.uwa.edu.au/416645