Cut-and-Fill Stoping at Star Mine

Miner, Gordon
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
GENERAL DESCRIPTION At the Star mine, Hecla Mining Co., located in Burke, Shoshone County, ID, the mining method is horizontal slicing (timbered or untimbered) cut-and-fill using hydraulic sand backfill. Back stoping as well as breast stoping is used; see Fig. 1. The annual produc¬tion from all cut-and-fill mining is 259 816 t (286,400 st). The average depth ranges from 366 to 2408 m (1200 to 7900 ft). A majority of the tonnage comes from an average depth of 2240 m (7350 ft). Average travel time to the stope is 1 hr. GENERAL ORE BODY REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS Size and Ground Conditions The ore body is 610 to 1219 m (2000 to 4000 ft) along the strike and 2408 m (7900 ft) on the dip, with an average vein width of 2.6 m (8.5 ft). The dip is essentially vertical. The ore body is heavily sheared and broken on the main fault structures; it is more competent on the wall veins but everywhere subject to rock bursting at depth. The hanging and footwalls are strongly fractured on the main fault structures, again more competent but still fractured on the wall veins. All host rock is Revett quartzite. Value and Production Requirements The ore value is $56 per ton. Production require¬ments are 1089 t/ d (1200 stpd), five days per week. Why Cut-and-Fill? The slusher extraction method is the most satisfac¬tory and practical for narrow vertical veins with sheared walls. The method must be quite selective to be com¬mercial. The veins are too narrow for rubber-tired ex¬traction and the grade is not high enough to make resuing practical. DETAILED DESCRIPTION Development Access to the main shaft is by the 3.2-km (2-mile) main haulage tunnel. The level intervals in the vertical timbered shafts are 61 m (200 ft). Vein development is by crosscut and laterals located 30.5 m (100 ft) into the vein wall. Vein crosscuts are on ±61 m (200 ft) centers. Access to the vein is by raises carried up with the stope. The raises are equipped with four wood¬cribbed chutes (two orepasses reinforced with angle irons, one manway, and one timber slide, Figs. 2-6). The initial cut is located 6.7 m (22 ft) above the main level (Fig. 1). Stoping Cycle Detail Sampling: Grab samples are taken from the mine cars. Channel sampling of the faces and backs is done when necessary. Drilling: For stope drilling, Ingersoll-Rand 300M percussion drills are used, with Ingersoll-Rand 300M and Gardner-Denver RB83M stopers, used for back stoping. Breasting down is done with Gardner-Denver S83FM jacklegs. The back stoping rounds are 0.9 to 1.8 m (3 to 6 ft) and the breast stoping rounds 1.5 to 3m (5 to 10 ft). Blasting: For stope blasting DuPont Tovex 100 watergel with fuses and igniter cord is used primarily. Approximately 60% of the blasting is done with am¬monium nitrate-fuel oil (ANFO). For development headings and shaft sinking, DuPont Drivex watergel with Ensign Bickford Nonel Primadet primers is is used. Mucking: Broken ore is removed entirely by slusher in the stopes. These are mostly 3.7-7.5-kW (5-10-hp) Ingersoll-Rand air-powered or 7.5-37.3-kW (10-50-hp) Ingersoll-Rand electric-powered. In the horizontal de¬velopment headings Eimco 12B and 21 and Atlas Copco LM-56 overshot mucking machines and a 0.76 (1 cu yd) hydroelectric Wagner HST-1 LHD (load-haul-dump) unit are used. Rockway for Extraction: The cribbed chutes (Fig. 7) are nearly vertical and hexagonal in shape and are made of spaced 152 x 203-mm (6 x 8-in.) timber, reinforced with varying weights and sizes of angle iron, depending on wear requirements. Rectangular cribbed chutes are used where ground pressure is not a problem. Cribbing is added in 2.4 or 3-m (8 or 10-ft) extensions accord¬ing to the floor height (whether timbered or untimbered). See Figs. 8 and 9. Backfilling: Backfilling is done with hydraulic sand consisting of classified mill tailings at 65% solids. The fill contains approximately 20% 325-mesh fines. The tailings are pumped 3353 m (11,000 ft) at 50-55% solids 22.7 dry t/h (25 dry stph) with a duplex piston pump. Cycloning increases the tailings density to 65% solids. Fill storage is in a 998-dry-t (1100 dry st) agi
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