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|INTRODUCTION The two unit operations in cut-and-fill stoping that would benefit most from increased mechanization are drilling blastholes and moving broken ore to the ore¬passes. Drilling in current practice is done with hand¬held jackleg and stoper drills. Broken ore is commonly moved from the face to the orepass by a small slusher. This type of equipment can be easily moved through the raises. Hand-held drills have a slow drilling rate and require one operator for each machine. Drilling can be done much faster by small jumbo-mounted machines as two or more drills can be operated by one miner. Load-haul-dump (LHD) units move broken ore from the face to one or more orepasses at a much faster rate with less loss and dilution than slushers. These units are mobile and may be used at more than one place during a shift. The problem which must be overcome in applying this higher degree of mechanization is the restricted means of access inherent in current practices. Cut-and¬fill methods are usually applied to mining veins that are narrow, irregular in dip and strike, or where ground con¬ditions require the support of sand fill. The mechanized equipment which is needed to accomplish high produc¬tion cannot be raised or lowered through raises without being disassembled. A jumbo which will give the desired performance would be mounted on a rubber-tired carriage with a diesel engine for propulsion. Twin hydraulic booms run by a small air motor would carry pneumatic drills. Over¬all dimensions of the unit would be about 8 m (26 ft) in length, 1.6 m (5'/z ft) in width, and 1.6 m (5'/z ft) in height. An LHD of the desired capacity would be rubber¬tired and either diesel or electric-powered. The overall dimensions of a 2.3-m (3-cu yd) unit will be about 8 m (26 ft) in length, 1.8 m (6 ft) in width, and 1.5 m (5 ft) in height. It will weigh about 12 700 kg (28,000 1b). It can readily be seen that conventional raises can¬not handle this size equipment. The most desirable means of access enables equipment to be driven into the stoping areas. Ramps can enter the stope by being driven upward in the vein walls or by being developed in the vein on top of the fill as the stope advances. This ramp system not only permits the use of rubber-tired equipment in multiple working places but also enables its removal for repairs without component breakdown. In the proposed method, as in conventional cut-and¬fill stoping, sand fill will replace the mined-out ore. By constructing an inclined timber floor at one end of the stope, a ramp can be maintained on top of the fill and advanced as the stope is advanced cut by cut (Fig. 1). The ramp is, therefore, developed during the stoping process and is only driven as a tunnel when rising over and around the sill and crown pillars. A stoping section consists of three blocks of different geometric shapes. The first and last blocks to be mined will be triangular in the plane of the vein, and the blocks between will have the shape of parallelograms (Fig. 1). The first block will develop the initial ramp by breast stoping and filling to the ramp floor (Fig. 2). The ramp will need to be completed through to the next level be¬fore stoping of the subsequent block can begin. The subsequent blocks are mined by back stoping with the next ramp being developed at the other end of that block (Fig. 3). The length of each subsequent block can be varied without changing the slope of the ramp. As the new ramp is developed, the previous ramp is filled along with the stope cut. Access up and down is maintained through the stope. The final block is again breast stoped as no new ramp will be developed at the end line for jumbo egress. Boreholes provide ventilation between levels as well as utility access. They can also provide a secondary escapeway for personnel during periods of development. These boreholes would be located about 3 to 4.5 m (10 to 15 ft) in the footwall and spaced about 183 m (600 ft) apart along the vein. The orepasses are spaced about 61 m (200 ft) apart in the vein. This spacing allows not only a short tram for the LHD unit but also provides surge capacity for the ore between haulage trains. These passes are raised from the haulage levels. As development progresses, the raises are driven through the sill pillar, and then car¬ried in the fill as stoping progresses. Ventilation and utilities can be maintained through an orepass when it is not needed for ore. The end line orepasses are intended for this purpose as well as for personnel emergency egress. Overall dimensions and criteria assumed to illustrate the ramp method of access in a highly mechanized cut¬and-fill stope are: haulage level spacing of 61 m (200 ft); ramp gradient of 17%; average dip of approximately 1.57 rad (90°); initial stope length of 358 m (1177 ft); subsequent stope length of 179 m (588 ft); average stoping width of 3 m (10 ft) ; sill pillar thickness of 3.6 m (12 ft); crown pillar thickness of 1.8 m (6 ft); bored raises of 1.5-m (5-ft) diam; and cribbed orepasses of 1.2 x 1.2 m (4 x 4 ft) through the sill pillar and 1.2 m (4 ft) square inside the cribbed portion. DEVELOPMENT The ramp access system lends itself well to conduct¬ing the several phases of development concurrently. Haulage Drifts and Raises The first development step will be to drive the 3 x 3-m (10 x 10-ft) haulage drifts above and below|