The Henderson Mine

Doepken, William G.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
GENERAL DESCRIPTION The Henderson mine utilizes a highly mechanized, continuous panel-caving system to extract ore from a deep, massive, molybdenum deposit. The mine site, lo¬cated 80.5 km (50 miles) west of Denver, is situated at 3170 m (10,400 ft) above sea level in a steep valley on the eastern side of the Continental Divide. The mill site, located on the western side of the divide, is linked to the mine via a 15.5-km (9.6-mile) railroad tunnel. Mine production is scheduled to reach 27 215 t/ d (30,000 stpd) from the uppermost production level. This pro¬duction rate will have been reached within the four years following an intensive ten-year preproduction development program. A second production level, due to come on stream in later years, will expand production capabilities to 31 751 t/d (35,000 stpd). The mine, which employs approximately 2000, has blocked-out ore reserves of 220 Mt (242 million st) at an average grade of 0.42% MoS2. Geology The Henderson deposit is composed of two partially overlapping ore bodies that lie 1080 m (3600 ft) beneath the peak of Red Mountain. The ore bodies are entirely within a Tertiary rhyolite porphyry intrusive complex that has intruded Precambrian granite. The de¬posit is elliptical in plan with overall dimensions of 670 x 910 m (2200 x 3000 ft). In section it is arcuate with an average thickness of 185 m (600 ft). The top of the deposit is at an elevation of 2610 m (8700 ft) while the lower limits range from 2340 m (7800 ft) on the west to below 2100 m (7000 ft) on the east. The mineralization is relatively continuous in the ore bodies and consists of molybdenite and quartz in random to subrandom, intersecting, closely spaced veinlets. Cavability RQD (rock quality designation) * values measured from Henderson drill core and compared with the RQD values from the Climax and Urad block-cave mines in¬dicated that the Henderson ore would cave but with difficulty and that a high percentage of the cave ma¬terial would be blocky. Initial caving experience shows the Henderson ore caves easier and with greater frag¬mentation than was indicated by the RQD values. Pos¬sible reasons for this are: 1) The greater lithostatic load at the Henderson has a greater effect on caving and fragmentation than anticipated. 2) The relief of confining pressure due to caving action and brittleness of the rock is enhancing breakage. Mine Layout The Henderson mine layout was designed from its inception for a large-scale, rubber-tired, continuous panel-caving mining system. The ore body is vertically divided into three major mine levels (Fig. 1). The top¬most level (8100 level), which is 2469 m (8100 ft) above sea level, is the current mine production level. The intermediate or 7700 level, which is in the initial
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