The Seismic Monitoring Decision at Mt Charlotte Gold Mine

Poplawski R F,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
A 32-channel PSS seismic monitoring system was commissioned at Mt Charlotte mine in 1994, and at the time it was the first such system in Australian mines. The system continuously observes the occurrence of seismic events and locates them accurately in space and time. Mt Charlotte has a history of seismicity, with the largest event in recent years of Richter magnitude 4.3. The decision to 'go seismic' was made despite some uncertainty regarding its potential usefulness. However after the first year of operation, benefits have been realised in terms of less production downtime, improved mine safety and mine planning, and better understanding of the nature of Mt Charlotte seismicity. The seismic network has performed well, recording 550 events in its first year of operation to a location accuracy averaging ¦ 12 metres. System reliability is excellent, with very little downtime, and acceptable operation and maintenance times and costs. Observations show major distinct changes in the rate of mining induced seismicity over time periods of weeks and months. Events have tended to cluster in specific mine areas and on particular faults and structures. Case examples of pillar preconditioning, breakout around an orepass, and a major stope rockburst, illustrate the role of seismic data and the benefits it brings to safety, productivity and planning.
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