Cost Calculation for Horizontal Cut-and-Fill Mining

Pugh, Gordon M. ; Rasmussen, David G.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 25
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION Variations of cut-and-fill stoping are the most com¬monly used methods for mining narrow, nearly vertical veins in the United States. These methods offer the best results for maximum recovery with minimum dilution of ore from veins that are irregular along either the strike or dip. The vein is developed along the strike length in 61 to 122-m (200 to 400-ft) blocks or stopes and vertical lifts of 48 to 61 m (160 to 200 ft). The level development is either on the vein or parallel to the vein with crosscuts intersecting the vein at right angles. Chutes, manways, and haulageways are established in the center of the stopes at the lower level of the ore block. Mining then proceeds by blasting down horizon¬tal cuts of the vein in both directions from the chutes. As the blasting continues to the outer limits of the stope, the broken ore is slushed into chutes. When a complete horizontal cut has been made, the service raise, including chutes, is raised to a height of a few feet from the back and the stope is filled with either sand fill or waste rock. Then the mining cycle is re¬peated until the stope reaches the level above. LEVEL DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES FOROVERHAND CUT-AND-FILL STOPING The two basic methods used are: the development of the haulage drift within the vein, or development of the haulage drift paralleling the vein in the foot or hang¬ing wall with crosscuts intersecting the vein perpendicu¬larly at 61 to 122-m (200 to 400-ft) intervals. The il¬lustrated methods of development show some of the variations which can be used to develop a stope block. Development for cut-and-fill stoping does not require the more elaborate schemes outlined for shrinkage or sublevel long-hole stoping. Many factors must be considered before deciding on a particular development plan and usually the nature of the vein or host rock will dictate which specific method to use. If the vein is relatively straight, then develop¬ment on the vein is feasible. Excessive ground pressures will necessitate the leaving of a sill pillar (Fig. la) and highly fractured or "heavy" ground will require timber¬ing (Fig. 1b). Development on the vein has the advan¬tage of reducing capital outlay and waste handling prob¬lems since the mined rock has value. But removal of the sill pillar is costly and time-consuming. Also, where no sill pillar is left, excessive timbering and subsequent level repair is a drawback. Development in either the footwall or hanging wall is the more common procedure and offers greater flexi¬bility in overall development of consecutive stoping blocks by partially disassociating the level development from stoping (Fig. 2). Chutes, manways, and service compartments com¬prise the next stage of development and are established in a variety of ways. They provide access to the stope, ventilation ducts, and muck removal. Several different development systems are in common use and average costs for each have been developed. Raise borers are used to establish ventilation and ac¬cess from level to level. They are normally reamed with 1.5 or 1.8-m (5 or 6-ft) cutterhead and may either be left bald or lined with a 1.2-m (4-ft) diam corrugated liner plate, depending upon ground conditions. The use of an Alimak raise climber is another effec¬tive method of driving a raise from level to level. The size usually is 2 m (7 ft) square. This will accommodate square-set timber which is later installed. This method of raising is not common, although it is a valuable tech¬nique especially when level spacing is several hundred feet.
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