The Importance Of Both Geological Structures And Mining Induced Stress Fractures On The Hangingwall Stability In A Deep Level Gold Mine

Quaye, G. B.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1998
The deep level gold mining environment is characterized by high stresses that give rise to intense mining induced fracturing of the rock mass surrounding the stopes. In a geologically disturbed region where the intensity of mining induced stress fracturing is high, the degree of faulting and/or the frequency of other geological features such as joints may pose serious strata control problems. Unfavourable intersection of these discontinuities namely, faults, joints and mining induced stress fractures tend to divide the immediate hangingwall into unstable keyblocks which, if not supported, may result in extensive falls of ground. Effective support strategies therefore demand detailed investigation of the predominant inclinations and orientations of these discontinuities. The orientations and inclinations of these discontinuities surrounding a deep level stope have been measured. The results are projected onto the lower hemisphere of a stereographic net to determine the factors that contribute to the falls of ground in the stope. The analyses reveal that unfavourable intersection of these discontinuities divides the immediate hangingwall into unstable wedges that may become dislodged between support units.
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