Construction Of A Concrete Plug In South Deep?s Main Shaft To Seal Off A Major Water Intersection

Wells, M. F.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
The method used to salvage South Deep?s Main Shaft after it was flooded by an inrush of water at about 450 m below collar on 1 May1996 is described. The individual techniques employed in the salvage were all proven technology, but the combination in which they were applied is considered to be novel. The operation involved the following activities in order of occurrence. ?the dewatering of the shaft with submersible pumps ?the placement of a French drain on the shaft bottom muck pile ?the positioning of large diameter heavy walled draft tubes, and smaller tightening up, grout intrusion and reverse flow pipes ?the casting and curing of a structural concrete plug; the capping of the draft tubes; the intrusion of several thousand tons of cement grout into the aquifer by pressure induced reverse flow ?the sealing of the aquifer ?extensive probe drilling and sealing of the zone around the inrush point with cement and other specialized grouts ?the mining out of the plug and the re-establishment of normal sinking routines.
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