Alternative Support Systems For Mechanized Stopes
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 2005
The stoping of platinum orebodies in the Bushveld has in the past been accomplished by using in-stope pillars to ensure stability of the workings. In the future, the use of continuous mining machines to mine the platinum orebodies is probable. It is not envisaged that such machines will cut in-stope pillars. This paper describes the alternative support systems that will replace the pillars and the stope geometries that will be required for this type of mining. The paper describes how the support resistance provided by in-stope pillars in current mining was determined and then evaluates support systems that can substitute for these pillars. Conceptual layouts based on existing breast mining layouts are presented. The layouts consist of panels of up to 100 m face length between rigid strike stabilizing pillars. A number of design charts are then proposed that allow for the design of appropriate support systems.