The Zinc Corporation, Ltd. and New Broken Hill Consolidated, Ltd.

Le Messurier, R. E.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
GENERAL DESCRIPTION The mines are located at Broken Hill in the western part of New South Wales, Australia, 930 km west¬northwest of Sydney. Mining Methods Where pillars must be left between stopes, extraction of a block of ore between two or more levels is carried out in stages: 1) Stopes are mined overhand by horizontal cut¬and-fill stoping, or by long-hole stoping. The various methods of horizontal cut-and-fill stoping used are desig¬nated as: -Loader cut-and-fill stoping with horizontal blast¬holes and diesel load-haul-dump (LHD) units. -Open stoping with horizontal blastholes and com¬pressed air or electric scrapers, or with diesel or electric LHD units. Square-set timber stoping, where ground condition precludes open stoping. The backs are sup¬ported with timber square sets. Pattern rockbolting of the backs may be used as an intermediate stage between open stoping and square-set stoping. 2) Vertical pillars are mined by undercut-and-fill stoping or by vertical crater retreat stoping. 3) Where a horizontal pillar has been formed below the level above the primary stope, this level pillar, usually 6.1 to 8.2 m in depth, may be mined by over¬hand square-set stoping or by undercut-and-fill. Long-hole stoping is used at the Zinc Corp. (ZC) and New Broken Hill Consolidated (NBHC) to mine parts of the zinc-rich A and B lodes. Drilling is carried out from drill drives and, in some cases, sills. Hole sizes used are 165 mm (61/2 in.), 110 mm (4'h in.), and 65 mm (21/2 in.) nominal diam with hole lengths being limited to 50, 30, and 20 m respectively. Ammonium nitrate-fuel oil (ANFO) and water gel explosives are used. Broken ore is loaded from drawpoints at the bottom of the stope using rubber-tired diesel-driven LHD units which deliver ore to an orepass. Annual production at Zinc Corp. and NBHC accord¬ing to mining method is given in Table 1. At Zinc Corp. mining is being carried out at depths varying between 200 and 832 m. At NBHC it ranges from 528 to 915 m below the surface. The average travel time to the stope is 30 to 45 min. GENERAL ORE BODY REQUIREMENTS Size, Shape, and Dip There are six separate lodes which carry minable ore in the mines of Zinc Corp. and New Broken Hill Consolidated. The lowest of these and the main ore bodies presently being mined at Zinc Corp. are the lead lodes, consisting of a siliceous fluoritic ore body (No. 3 lens) and overlying it a calcite rhodonitic ore body (No. 2 lens). Each possesses characteristic ratios of lead, silver, and zinc, although the grade within each lens is variable, in places being as high as 30% Pb. There are also low¬grade portions which consist chiefly of poorly mineral¬ized rhodonitic material. No. 3 lens terminates within the Zinc Corp. leases, while No. 2 lens continues into the NBHC leases where it continues to provide a significant proportion of pro¬duction from the mine. Overlying the No. 2 lens are the various zinc-rich ore bodies. In ascending sequence these are lower No. 1 lens, upper No. 1 lens, A lode, and B lode. A typical assay for the small No. 1 lens group ore bodies is 8% lead, 50 g/t silver, and 20% zinc. The `A' lode is a large low-grade ore body in which the higher grade sections assay 4% lead, 30 g/t silver, and 10% zinc; larger quantities of lower grade ma¬terial also occur. B lode, the main zinc lode, typically assays 5% lead, 30 g/t silver, and 17% zinc. B lode increases in size as it extends south, and in NBHC is a major ore body, contributing about 52% of the production. All the lodes pitch south, the average pitch being 0.52 rad (30°) in the Zinc Corp. leases and rather flatter than this in the NBHC leases (see Figs. 1-3). The ground is all competent rock. Production requirements at Zinc Corp. are 900 000 t and 1 200 000 at NBHC.
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