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Mitigating the effects of high horizontal stress on ground control in an underground stone mine: a case history.

Ellenberger-J; Miller-T
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, July 31-August 2, 2012, Morgantown, West Virginia. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, 2012 Jul; :1-5
The nature of a stone deposit is rarely defined through exploration and engineering design, but more through the actual experience encountered as the mine develops; hence, issues with ground control are often at the forefront for a new mine. Ground control problems account for over 15 percent of lost-time injuries in underground stone mines. The objective of this work is to present actions taken during early development of a stone mine to mitigate the obvious effects of high horizontal stress on ground control. The mine was developed from a box cut with relatively little cover, and high horizontal stresses were not anticipated. Early recognition of possible high horizontal stress resulted in mapping of the mine using the NIOSH-developed Roof Fall Risk Index (RFRI) to provide a baseline to objectively analyze roof conditions. A program of borescoping the mine roof provided valuable roof beam thickness data and found that the roof beam was of minimal thickness, approximately 10 percent of drift width. As the mine developed, it became apparent that ground control problems related to high horizontal stress existed. A concentrated effort was made to improve ground conditions by implemeting a number of mitigation techniques. Actions taken by the mine included systematic roof support, reorientation of mining direction, a lower roof horizon, reduced span widths and reduced mining height in crosscuts to prevent running falls. These strategies resulted in signifcantly improved ground stability.
Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Ground-control; Ground-stability; Geology; Stone-mines; Computer-software; Computer-models
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Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, July 31-August 2, 2012, Morgantown, West Virginia