, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 349-366
Date: 18 Jan 2008

Assessment and Control of Ore Dilution in Long Hole Mining: Case Studies

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Unplanned ore dilution has a direct and large influence on the cost of a stope, and ultimately on the profitability of a mining operation. This paper presents the results of an examination of factors influencing ore dilution in a blasthole stoping environment. For the study, a comprehensive database was established, incorporating information related to the design, construction, excavation and cavity surveys of 172 sequentially mined long hole stope case histories from two orezones. Through a review of the case studies, it was demonstrated that, in addition to stope dimension, the amount of unplanned dilution differed according to stope type. Five stope types were identified, based on their position within a tabular blasthole mining sequence. Measured overbreak varies with stope type, with secondary stopes generating a greater volume of hanging-wall dilution than do primary stopes. Furthermore, a case study is presented to demonstrate the role cablebolts installed in the stope hanging-wall play to control ore dilution. The study illustrates relationships between measured hanging-wall overbreak, cablebolt orientation and stope type.