Bord-And-Pillar Mining In Inclined Orebodies
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 2003
Paper written on project work carried out in partial fulfilment of B. Eng (Mining Engineering) degree This paper addresses the critical parameters that need to be considered when designing a mechanized bord-and-pillar mining layout for a narrow tabular steep dipping orebody. These parameters are : ?Reef dip ?Reef width ?Geological structures within the orebody ?Physical dimensions of the selection of machines ?Gradeability of the selection of machines. The main objective in designing such a layout is to maximize machine efficiencies whilst minimizing dilution. This methodology was then applied in the design of a mechanized bord-and-pillar mining layout for a given piece of ground (Vlakpoort and Moddergat) using a given selection of machines. This piece of ground contains the PGM bearing UG2 Reef with an average thickness of 124 cm and dipping at 18°withadverse strike and dip changes. Two bord-and-pillar layouts were designed for this area. Layout 1 is characterized by the use of strike conveyors to convey ore on strike with an average LHD hauling distance of 35 m. Layout2 uses LHDs for all on strike conveyance of ore with an average hauling distance of 75 m. These two layouts were then technically and financially compared. It was concluded that layout 1 is theoretically superior but layout 2 was chosen due to its greater flexibility and probability of operational success. Layout 2 was also compared to conventional mining and it was concluded to be more economically feasible. However the latter is a proven mining method in these conditions and has a lower risk operational failure. Bord-and-pillar mining has some favourable promises such as improving labour difficulties, lowering operating costs and providing safer working conditions. The success of mechanized bord-and-pillar mining in narrow tabular steep dipping orebodies will depend on the extent of the research and development efforts which need to create and innovate technologies to overcome some of the current limitations stated in the above-mentioned parameters.