Mining Publication: Empirical Approaches for Opening Design in Weak Rock Masses
A major focus of ground control research presently being conducted by the Spokane Research Laboratory of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to incorporate weak rock masses (such as are associated with operations in the Carlin Trend in Nevada) into existing design relationships. The original database that led to most of the empirical design relationships presently employed in hard-rock mining was derived from fair-to-good-quality rock. In this study, the relationship between weak rock quality and opening design (non-entry/entry methods) is being investigated. The common factor in all mines is a weak back or wall. This work attempts to provide tools that will enable a mine operator to make economic decisions that will also ensure a safe working environment.