, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 253-275

Design methods for stopes and sill pillars with application to the Zinkgruvan Mine, central Sweden

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Summary

The design of pillars in cut-and-fill mining and open stoping in vertical and subvertical orebodies is of vital importance in optimizing mining operations. The primary requirement for a good and reliable design technique is the ability to represent the actual physical behaviour of the pillar. In this paper, a new methodology for stope roof and sill pillar design is proposed for the Zinkgruvan Mine in Sweden. Studies of failure modes, local geology and rock mass characteristics were carried out to correlate failure modes to different geomechanical environments. For preliminary design, crude and ready-to-use stress level criteria were extracted from simple linear elastic modelling. More detailed modelling was used to simulate observed failures in a mechanically realistic manner and, at the same time, to help identify the fundamental failure mechanisms. Once the correct models and input parameters were identified, a set of guidelines on choice of model and parameter values were produced. The models can be used for design of new mining areas at Zinkgruvan, and the methodology could also be applied to other mines with similar geomechanical conditions.