Auditing cable bolting practice for underground mines

Hutchinson, D. J. ; Nickson, S.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
Cable bolts are used as a means of rock support around underground excavations in many mines across Canada and around the world. A substantial body of research on cable bolting was conducted at a number of Canadian universities and mines from the mid-1980s through the 1990s. Since then, research into selected areas of cable bolting practice has continued in Canada. The research has focussed on cable bolt instrumentation and on the inclusion of cable bolts in empirical stope design techniques. A review of cable bolting practice is now warranted at many mines. It has been five years since the completion of the previous substantial body of Canadian academic research and the associated advancement in understanding of cable bolt design, implementation and verification practice. Attempts were made at that time to transfer the new design procedures and performance assessment technologies to mine-site personnel. In some cases, this was effective, and ground control personnel continue to improve on their cable bolting practice at each specific mine site. However, at other sites, experienced people have moved on, and the new, less experienced personnel do not have access to the training or technical resources required to improve their understanding of the subject. In other cases, the technology was not transferred effectively to practitioners, with the result that substantial improvements can be made to the cable bolting practice at those mines. Guidelines for auditing cable bolting practice are provided in this paper. The guidelines include a discussion of the objectives of the audit, suggestions for audit procedure and a summary of the possible outcomes of a cable bolt audit. The objectives of an audit might include assessing the reasons for unexpected cable bolt failures, evaluating the quality of the installation procedures, quantifying the efficiency of the cable bolt system and assessing training requirements and procedures. A cable bolt audit should include consideration of all aspects of the cable bolting cycle, including the design, implementation and verification phases of the operation. At the end of the audit, a ranking should be assigned to the components of the cycle. The ranking system can then be used to identify items that require immediate attention, others that could be improved and others that are adequate. Following completion of a cable bolt audit, increased confidence in the support system and its application is generally, found, along with the potential for cost savings in many cases.
Full Article Download:
(694 kb)