Interaction Between The Block Cave And The Pit Slopes At Palabora Mine

Moss, A.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
The Palabora Mining Company has successfully extended the life of its operation by developing a 30 000 tpd block cave underground mine below the now closed open pit. The process of transitioning from surface to underground mining has been technically, operationally and managerially challenging. This has been due to a number of factors, in particular, the development of a block cave in a very competent rock mass. The competence of the rock mass is clearly demonstrated in the open pit that preceded the block cave, one of the steepest deep open pit excavations in the world. With cave breakthrough, however, the pit was ?instantaneously? deepened by 400 m causing a major failure of the north-west wall involving close to 100 Mt of waste material.
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