Cut-and-Fill at the Bruce Mine

Johnson, Ronald T. ; Dyas, Keith E. ; Nelson, John
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
GENERAL DESCRIPTION The Bruce mine of Cyprus Mines Corp. is located in Bagdad, AZ. The mining method used is open cut-and-fill. Of the annual production of 81 647 t (90,000 st), approximately 83% is taken from load-haul-dump (LHD) stopes and the balance from slusher stopes. All ore is produced from the area between the 1250 level and the 2300 level. The average travel time from the shaft pocket to the stope is approximately 5 min. GENERAL ORE BODY REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS Size, Shape, and Dip The Bruce ore body occurs in quartz-sericite schist with Dick rhyolite on the footwall and andesite on the hanging wall. Diabase dikes are found in the hanging wall; there is also a dike coming off the footwall and crosscutting the ore body. All of the rock types are of the Precambrian Yavapai series and have been subjected to regional metamorphism. A composite of the ore body is given in Fig. 1. The deposit is of massive sulfides occurring as a steeply dipping replacement body. On the upper levels the ore is veinlike with widths from 0.6 to 4.6 m (2 to 15 ft), dipping at 1.4 to 1.5 rad (80° to 85°). On the lower levels the ore is dipping from I to 1.2 rad (60° to 70°) with widths from 3 to 16.8 m (10 to 55 ft). The strike length varies between 107 to 183 m (350 to 600 ft). The rhyolite footwall generally has a knife-edge contact with the massive sulfides. The exceptions to this are the upper levels where there is a 1.5 to 3 m (5 to 10 ft) band of silicified sericite schist between the sulfides and the rhyolite. In the southern part of the ore body the hanging wall is tuffaceous andesite and andesite. In this area the contact is generally sharp and easy to follow. However, to the north there is a large chlorite schist zone that crosscuts the bedding and comes in contact with the massive sulfides. This is apparently due to hydrothermal alteration of the andesite. The chlorite schist is highly mineralized with chalcopyrite and pyrite and quite often forms economic pockets of ore. In the massive sulfides the chief ore minerals are sphalerite and chalcopyrite. Pyrite is the predominant sulfide with considerable pyrrhotite throughout. Bright arsenopyrite ouhedrons in fine grain massive sulfides are quite common. Occasionally small amounts of galena are seen, usually near the foot or hanging wall contacts. On rare occasions tennanite is associated with massive arsenopyrite. Minor amounts of quartz, calcite, and un¬replaced remnants of sericite schist occur, but essentially pyrite is the gangue in which the ore minerals occur. The ore values are in excess of 3.5% copper and 12.5% zinc with some silver and rare gold as byproducts. Ground Conditions The massive sulfides are generally self-supporting. One exception is in the 1850 stope where the ore body is 9 to 11 m (30 to 55 ft) wide and 152 m (500 ft) long. There are flat to shallow dipping slips and seams in the ore, creating extremely blocky ground. For support, old 25.4-mm (1-in.) hoist ropes were installed tensioned to 27 t (30 st), and then cement grouted over the entire length in longholes [14 to 15 in (40 to 50 ft) in length) drilled on 3-m (10-ft) centers from the level above. This has tied the formation together very successfully and virtually eliminated the blocky ground condition. Both the hanging wall and footwall are quite shaley in some areas. Reasons for Adopting Trackless Open Cut-and-Fill Methods First, any method other than open cut-and-fill would have caused too much dilution. The use of rubber-tired mining equipment in the pro¬duction stopes requires a footwall ramp. The inclines in ore will be mined out, so this ramp in the footwall will provide access to and from the stopes (Fig. 2). This incline is very expensive, but necessary to convert existing stopes to LHD mining. 'The final cost of ore mined by the LHD machines has not been determined. As of 1972, tons per manshift in the 2150 stope-the only one to complete a full cut-had increased from 7.58 t (8.36 st) to 12.83 t (14.14
Full Article Download:
(756 kb)