The Design Of Pillar Systems As Practised In Shallow Hard-Rock Tabular Mines In South Africa

Ozbay, M. U. ; Ryder, J. A. ; Jager, A. J.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
This paper deals with procedures used for designing pillar systems in hard-rock tabular mines operating at shallow depths, typically less than 1000 m. A comprehensive review if current practice identifies four types if pillars, namely non-yield, yield, crush and barrier pillars, and the main principles for designing these pillars are outlined. It is shown that the current design methods for pillar systems in South Africa are mainly empirical, each mine developing its pillar-design methods based largely on practical experience. This results in varying pillar layouts, even between neighbouring mines, despite similarities in geology, and depth if mining. It is suggested that some current layouts may fall short if being the best as regards safety, the maximum safe extraction percentages, or flexibility in accommodating future mining scenarios in deeper or otherwise different geological conditions.
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