A Simple Time-Dependent Chart of Extension Fracture Initiation within Brittle Homogenous and Heterogeneous Rock Pillars in Hard Rock Mining

  • Fhatuwani SenganiEmail author
Original Paper


A simple empirical time-dependent chart of extension fracture initiation is described. The chart was developed using simple borehole periscope observations within the rib pillars, focusing on monitoring the initiations of extension fracture. Nevertheless, the periscope was conducted time to time for the duration of a month, within brittle homogenous and heterogeneous rock pillars (rib pillar). The chart is suitable for predicting extension fracture initiations and extends of fracturing as time progress, predicting the allowable time to install an effective support system and be able to estimate the stability of the rib pillars within a brittle homogenous and heterogeneous rib pillars in a high stress environment. Two practical application and examples of the chart are described. These are firstly, an alternative way of estimating the rib pillar strength and secondly, predicting the maximum allowable time for an effective support installation along the rib pillar.


Extension fracture Brittle rock mass Homogenous rock pillar Heterogeneous rock pillar Hard rock mining 



The author wishes all mineworkers who lost their lives as a result of rock burst accidents to rest in eternal peace.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author wishes to confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication, there has been no financial support given to influence the outcome of this work.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and MiningUniversity of LimpopoPolokwaneSouth Africa

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