The Implementation of Rock Mechanics Into a Multiple Level Limestone Mine

Newman, David A.
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2014
In the 1950s, an underground limestone mine in the Camp Nelson Formation was developed from an outcrop exposure. The Camp Nelson Limestone met the requirements for DOT stone and aggregate. The mine ownership changed several times, which resulted in distinct mine designs in Level 1. Based upon the production requirements and an attempt to maximize limestone recovery from a single level, a variety of pillar dimensions and three mining heights (28 feet, 68 feet and 83 feet) were developed. This was sufficient prior to reaching the mineable extent of Level 1. Level 2 introduced previously unknown ground control challenges. These included: ??Pillar spalling and a significant back fall on the Level 1 - Level 2 decline; ??Laminated immediate back and the need to bolt the back on Level 2; ??Delamination of the back adjacent to the Level 1 - Level 2 decline resulting in bolt shearing, and floor heave in isolated areas of Level 2; ??Multiple level interaction, the need to design pillars based upon numerical modeling as columnization between Levels is infeasible: and ??Water inflow as the mine approached river. To meet the challenges, a testing program to determine rock strength and physical properties was implemented along with numerical (LAMODEL and FEM) modeling, and borescope inspections of the immediate back. The efforts to implement rock mechanics were re-focused as Level 2 approached its mineable limit and the initial attempt to drive a decline to Level 3 was unsuccessful. A second decline site was selected based on inter burden stability, a consistent shale parting for the Level 3 back horizon, results from numerical models of the immediate back and multiple level interactions, and the projected low water inflow. The mine is operating on Levels 2 and 3 with long-term planning and ground monitoring for Level 3.
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