Mining Contract: Weak Rock Mass in Nevada Gold Mines: Behavior, Support Design, and Performance
This contract will address ground control design issues in weak rock masses by investigating the strength, deformational, and behavioral characteristics of weak rock mass in underground mining; by evaluating weak rock mass support systems; by developing support design guidelines and methodology; and by developing high-quality graduates who specialize in ground control.
Contract Status & Impact
This contract will address ground control design issues in weak rock masses through the following objectives:
- Develop guidelines for support design and support methodology for entry type excavations in weak and highly fractured rock masses in underground mines.
- Develop a better understanding of strength, deformational, and behavioral characteristics of weak rock mass in underground mining excavations.
- Investigate weak rock-support system interaction and evaluate the performance of support systems (friction sets, resin bolts, etc.).
- Produce high-quality graduates with Doctoral and/or Master's degrees in Mining or Geo-Engineering with a specialization in ground control technology.
The objectives of this project will be achieved through empirical methods, field instrumentation and experimentation, laboratory testing and investigation, and advanced numerical modeling approaches. The proposed research will cover a broad range of tasks, including extensive data collection, creating a database of case histories from field observations and field personnel experience, and using advanced numerical simulation techniques in the laboratory.
Based on research results, support design methodology, and guidelines for design of entry-type excavations will be developed and presented in a user-friendly software package for mine engineers.
Successful execution of this project will provide a better insight into the behavior of weak rock mass and support performance for better support system design in weak rock conditions. It will also provide an excellent opportunity for graduate students to develop ground control engineering techniques.