Jim Dowling - Mining Engineer

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UNDERGROUND MINE PLANNING ANIMATIONS: A series of animations to illustrate some aspects of underground mine planning

 

In mine planning, subjects are three dimensional and, to completely understand what is happening, in a two dimensional text book, all these various orthographic projections are necessary:

  • Plan View - as seen looking vertically downwards.

  • Section - as seen looking horizontally.

  • Cross Section - as seen looking horizontally in the direction of the object’s longest horizontal dimension, if it has one, for instance the strike direction of a dipping vein.

  • Long, or Longitudinal, Section - as seen looking horizontally in a direction which is perpendicular to the direction of the object’s longest horizontal dimension.

  • Isometric View - looking at an object along a sight line typically less than 45°  to the length/width/height axes, to indicate its three dimensional shape.

  • Perspective View - an isometric view including size varying with distance.

  • Plane of Lode (POL) - a view where the sight line is tilted to show the subject as if it were horizontal and a true plan view, so the sight line is perpendicular to the plane of the object, usually a mineral vein. In this view of workings within a dipping vein (lode), dimensions up-dip and along strike are accurate and can be scaled off, as if it were a plan view of a horizontal subject.

It is also possible, with software, to add the variable time in an animation of a perspective view, to show how a mine plan develops from start of mining to exhaustion. The following videos are intended to clarify some of the planning concepts in my book.

 

Shrinkage Stoping

A popular mining method for narrow, steeply dipping veins, This orebody outcrops at surface and dips at 70°. It has a strike length of 2000m, a vertical depth of 500m and is, on average, 2.0m wide (thick). It is assumed the natural geological variability in width and direction precludes the use of long holes due to excessive dilution and poor recovery.

Sublevel Open Stoping (SLOS)

A popular mining method for wider, steeply dipping veins, This orebody outcrops at surface and dips at 70°. It has a strike length of 2000m, a vertical depth of 500m and is 3.0m wide (thick). In this wider vein, dilution and recovery are now acceptable with long hole stoping. Long hole stoping is much more productive, and much cheaper, than shrinkage.

Room and Pillar Mining

Room and Pillar is used in most flat-dipping reserves which are thick enough to accommodate crawler-mounted and above all rubber-tyred equipment. It is ideally suited to sedimentary deposits such as coal and industrial minerals. It is also used in flat-dipping metalliferous deposits such as strata-bound lead/zinc. This reserve is horizontal, 420m deep and 3.0m thick. Boundaries are, as usual, variable, but extend to approximately 2.6 x 3.3km.

   

 

 

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