UBC Undergraduate Research

Relationships between Geology, Ore-body Genesis, and Rock Mass Characteristics in Block Caving Mines Banks, Craig


As Block Caving Mining becomes a more widely used method of extracting ore from deep, low-grade, weak, disseminated ore-bodies, it becomes important to understand the negative side effects associated with this mining method. One of the greatest side effects of concern is subsidence that results from the removal of material at depth. In order to better understand the processes affecting subsidence it is vital to first get an idea of the geological conditions that influence these subsidence inducing processes. Therefore it is the aim of this paper to shed some light on the various geological environments in which block caving is used to help single out the most important geological features, with respect to subsidence, that exist within each specific mining environment. Examples of important geological features would be ore-body dimensions and depth, the nature of the site specific rock units (ie. sedimentary or volcanic rocks of varying strengths), and the overall structural regime of the host geological environment (folding, faulting, shearing). Relationships that exist between geological characteristics at various mines will also be explored in the hope of finding similarities that can be used to link different mines and their corresponding subsidence responses. This will prove beneficial when attempting to find explanations as to why subsidence occurs in the manner that it does at a specific mine.

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