53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium,
New York City, New York
2019. American Rock Mechanics Association
2 in the last 30 days
15 since 2007
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ABSTRACT: The design of a ground support system must be sufficiently robust to hold, retain, and reinforce the excavations throughout its service life. The operational, geological, and geomechanical properties of the surrounding rockmass are known to impact the short- and long-term behavior of ground support systems, yet these impacts have not been fully quantified. In order to quantitatively assess the influence of various parameters on increased demand on ground support elements, a large database was created that collates historical rock support information: type, installation date, and behavior over time of an entire mine sector (18.5 km of drift). Findings demonstrated that the excavation span, rock quality designation surrounding the excavation, and the excavation orientation relative to the foliation appear to be the critical factors controlling the demand on ground support elements.
Current mining operations are witnessing the gradual depletion of mineral resources close to the surface. This scarcity is pushing mining companies to exploit resources at greater depths. However, safe and profitable operations in deep mines face major technical challenges, for example, the loss of the integrity of the excavation. The ground support system is the last line of defense to prevent this consequence; it must be robust enough to retain, hold, and reinforce mining excavations throughout their service lives. Currently, ground support design relies primarily on empirical charts and site-specific professional judgment.
Whereas several studies have assessed factors influencing increased demand on or damage to ground support elements (e.g., Hedley 1992, Kaiser et al., 1996, Durrheim et al., 1998, Heal et al., 2006; Dorion, 2009; Kaiser and Cai 2012; Potvin and Wesseloo, 2013), their impacts have not been quantified to assess the demand on capacity for various ground support elements. Table 1 summarizes and categorizes the main factors known to influence the demand on ground support. These factors were derived from rockburst case studies and field observations in hard rock mines.
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