Cut-and-Fill Stoping as Practiced at Outokumpu Oy

Matikainen, Raimo ; Särkkä, Pekka
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 14
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
HISTORY The history of mining in the Outokumpu Co. shows continuous development of small and medium-sized mines, coupled with a permanent improvement in min¬ing methods and mechanization. Tables 1 and 2 provide a brief outline of the major events over the years of operation. Some of the mines have had relatively short lives as in the case of Nivala, Korsnas, Kylmäkoski, the surface pits of the Kotalahti, Vuonos, and Hammaslahti mines, and some very small pits. The sequence in which the mines started opera¬tions is shown in Table 1 and production increases in Table 2. GEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK Most of the ore deposits in Finland (see Fig. 1) are situated in middle Precambrian (1500 to 2300 m.y.) formations corresponding to the Baltic shield. The ores and country rocks are generally firm, with a minimum compressive strength of 60 MPa (8700 psi). The sulfide ores, of importance to the national econ¬omy, can be divided into copper-nickel deposits, asso¬ciated with basic and ultrabasic rocks (1900 m.y.), and the sulfide ores found in well-preserved Svecokarelidic crystalline schists (1800 to 2300 m.y.) which contain varying amounts of copper, zinc, cobalt, nickel, and lead. Over 90% of the sulfide ore mined to date in Fin¬land and existing in the known ore reserves belongs to deposits situated in the main sulfide ore belt. This belt extends diagonally across the country over a breadth of Table 1. Sequence in Which Mines Began Operations 1913 Mining started at the Outokumpu mine (now called Keretti) 1928 Large scale systematic exploitation started in the Outokumpu mine Opening of mines: 1942 Nivala mine (1942-54) 1943 Yiojärvi mine (1943-66) 1947 Orijärvi mine (1947-54) (Mining started in 1757) 1948 Aijala mine (1949-58) 1952 Metsämonttu mine (1952-58 and 1964-74) 1954 Keretti's new mine plant 1954 Vihanti mine 1959 Kotalahti mine 1961 Korsnäs mine (1961-1972) 1962 Pyhäsalmi mine 1966 Virtasalmi mine 1967 Kemi mine 1970 Hitura mine 1971 Kylmäkoski mine (1971-74) 1972 Vuonos mine 1973 Hammaslahti mine 1978 Vammala mine Table 2. Ore Production of the Outokumpu Oy Mines Year 1000 t of Ore 1913-1928 252 1929-1954 13 075 1955 1 105 1960 1 784 1965 2 627 1970 3 269 1975 5 825 1976 5445 1977 4 939 1978 5 766 1979 5905 40 to 150 km, from Lake Ladoga to the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia. The main sulfide ore belt includes the Outokumpu copper-zinc, the Kotalahti nickel-copper, the Pyhäsalmi copper-zinc, and the Vihanti zinc ore zones. The Outokumpu ore district occurs in a mica schist area about 60 x 100 km, in association with belts of metamorphic Svecokarelidic quartzites, black schists, dolomites, skarn rocks, and serpentinites. The main ore minerals are chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, pyrite, and sphalerite. In addition there are nickel and cobalt minerals such as cubanite and cobalt-pentlandite, which have been of economic importance. In this area, Outokumpu Oy exploits the deposits at Keretti and Vuonos. The latter was discovered as an extension of the Keretti ore field about 6 km to the northeast. The Kotalahti geological formation extends across nearly 400 km. The host rock of these mostly pipelike deposits is generally serpentinite, pyroxenite, or norite. The main ore minerals are pyrrhotite, pentlandite, and chalcopyrite. In this zone, the deposits of Kotalahti, Hitura, and Virtasalmi are at present under exploitation by Outokumpu Oy. The Vihanti geological formation is located in west¬ern Finland and is about 40 km wide and some 200 km long. The rock associations are crystalline schists including dolomites, mica schists, mica gneisses, gray¬wacke, and acidic or basic volcanic rocks, which change generally, in connection with the mineralization, into skarn and cordierite-anthophyllite rocks. The host rocks are dolomite, skarn, graywacke, and quartzitic rock and the principal minerals are sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, pyrite, and pyrrhotite. The accessory minerals are mainly cubanite, arsenopyrite, molybdenite, and native gold and silver. The two largest ore bodies being exploited at pres¬ent by Outokumpu Oy are the Vihanti mine, which pro¬duces zinc, lead, and copper, and Pyhäsalmi, which con¬tains copper and zinc. Deviating from the sulfide ore types described earlier is the Hammaslahti copper ore located in the southeast-
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