Role of water in the stability of a shallow, underground mine

Sheik, A. K. ; Pariseau, W. G.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
A small underground mine in northern Idaho was used as an experimental facility for studying the role of water in the analysis of mine-opening stability. Laboratory test data, borehole measurements and geological mapping assisted in the construction of a coupled finite element model of the rock mass. The model was used to make quantitative estimates of rock stress, strain and displacement changes and to make estimates of the water pressure and flow velocity changes that occurred during historical mining. Stope cuts and wet fills were included in the analysis. The stability of the crown pillars between stopes was of particular interest. The relatively low effective stress and high rock-mass strength showed that water pressure changes were of no great consequence, which is in agreement with experience. The computational tools used in the analysis may be applied to other wet mines with appropriate changes to site-specific data.
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