Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Córdova E., Gottreux I., Anani A., Ferrada A., Contreras J.S. (2021)

Blasting and preconditioning modelling in underground cave mines under high stress conditions

Revista : Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Volumen : 121
Número : 2
Páginas : 71–80
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Cave mining is an underground mass mining technique. The largest projects, which are known as ‘super caves’, produce hundreds of thousands of tons of ore per day, which involves large footprints with considerable column height, and have a life of mine of over 20-40 years. These operations are typically located deep, under high stresses and in competent rock masses, making initiation and propagation of thecaving process harder to manage. These challenges must be confronted by optimizing the fragmentation of the orebody to achieve smaller size blocks that will result in consistent caving and improved flow of the ore from the drawpoints. To achieve better performance from the drawpoints, preconditioning isapplied to fragment and damage the material required to cave. We present a proposed design for preconditioning in underground mines, considering the challenges that these large-scale mines are already facing, based on a comprehensive analysis of current design parameters, case studies, and sensitivity analyses using numerical models.