Large Blasthole Stoping at Redsand Gruber, Norway

Larsen, Tore M.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
The Rødsand Gruber mining company is a subsidiary of the Norwegian industrial corporation Elkem AS, and its mine is situated in the northwestern part of southern Norway. The ore from this mine is a relatively low grade, magnetite ore with a small amount of vanadium. The ore bodies are very irregular in shape, resulting in a high amount of waste rock intrusion in the stopes. The annual underground production in the mines is approximately 1 million t. Because of varying dimensions of the ore bodies, both transverse and longitudinal stopes are employed. The inclination of an ore body is usually 1.04 to 1.59 rad (60 to 90°), and the horizontal width varies up to 100 m. Sublevel stoping has been the traditional mining methods in this mine. Until a few years ago, the ore was primarily blasted using horizontal blasthole fans drilled from Alimak raises. Recently, however there has been an increasing demand for a les expensive mining method. Alternate systems were considered, and finally a method based upon large blasthole stoping was found to be the most suitable. GENERAL LAYOUT The general layout of a stope is shown in Fig. 1 As with all the figures in this chapter, only the prin¬ciples of the method are emphasized and the details may not be valid for any particular site in the mine. In transverse stopes, the horizontal width of the ore determines the length of the stopes. The average length is approximately 50 m, the width of the stopes is 20 m, and there is a 10-m wide vertical pillar between. The distance between the main levels is 60 m. Usually a horizontal (sill) pillar 10 m thick is left below the mucking level. Each stope is first undercut along the entire stope length. This undercut is made with 50.8-mm (2-in.) diam drill holes in a fan pattern. At the moment this is being done by a trackless Atlas Copco Promec jumbo equipped with two Cop 130 pneumatic rock drills. The drill drift is 4 X 4 m, and the crater is 20 m high. This leaves a 36-m stope height to mine with large blastholes. To achieve a fair portion of vertical drilling withlarge blastholes, there are two parallel drill drifts at the top of each stope. These drifts are 4 m high and 9 m wide, separated by a 4-m wide pillar in the middle of the stope. To ease the drilling of perimeter holes, the drifts extend 1 m into the vertical pillar on each side of the stope. The pillar will thus be only 8 m wide on the drill drift level, but 10 m wide down the rest of the stope.
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