Mining Publication: Rock Mechanics Study of Shaft Stability and Pillar Mining, Homestake Mine, Lead, SD (In Three Parts): 3. Geomechanical Monitoring and Modeling Using UTAH3
A U.S. Bureau of Mines case study of pillar recovery in high-grade ore near the Ross shaft at the Homestake Mine, Lead, SD, has demonstrated the usefulness of the finite-element method for evaluating shaft pillar mining plans and shaft stability. In this study, borehole extensometers and other instruments were installed to provide data for model verification and to monitor shaft displacement. Results of a recalibrated two-dimensional model (UTAH2) confirmed the premining stability evaluation. However, after mining began, concern developed because of racks and other signs of ground motion that appeared at considerable distances from the area of active pillar mining. An intense three-dimensional modeling effort using the computer modeling program UTAH3 was initiated. The results again showed the observed effects were within expectations and that the shaft would remain safe. Three-dimensional analyses of alternate pillar mining scenarios indicated that more of the shaft pillar ore reserve could be recovered than previously thought on the basis of two-dimensional analyses. This report focuses on startup and implementation of the three-dimensional model, calibration of the three-dimensional model, and application of the model to shaft pillar mining.