Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 108 num. 12 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Some aspects of international shotcreting practice</b>]]> The International Tunnel and Underground Space Association (ITA) has a number of working groups (WG) that meet at least once a year. One of these is WG12, 'Use of Shotcrete', of which the author is a member. The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to a number of topics that were discussed at the WG12 meetings held in April and September 2008; and also to a number of other matters that arose from the presentation of thirty-four papers at the 5th International Symposium on Sprayed Concrete held in Lillehammer, Norway between 21 and 24 April 2008 <![CDATA[<b>Strategic mine planning - communicating uncertainty with scenarios</b>]]> This paper introduces and defines the concept of a linkage between long-term planning parameters ('global assumptions') and possible future world views as conceived in scenario planning. Scenario planning, the tool that is used to arrive at plausible future world views, is described in the context of the platinum industry. The interpretation of the scenarios into long-term planning parameters is made, followed by an illustration of how the long-term planning process has been adapted at Anglo Platinum to include the notion of uncertainty <![CDATA[<b>Predictability of pothole characteristics and their spatial distribution at Rustenburg Platinum Mine</b>]]> Prediction of pothole characteristics is a challenging task, confronting production geologists at the platinum mines of the Bushveld Complex. The frequency, distribution, size, shape, severity and relationship (FDS3R) of potholes has a huge impact on mine planning and scheduling, and consequently cost. It is with this in mind that this study was initiated. Quantitative analysis of potholes indicates that pothole size (area covered) can be described by two partly overlapping lognormal distributions. These are referred to as Populations A (smaller) and B (larger). The range of observed pothole sizes conforms to a simple double exponential growth model based on Newton's Cooling Curve. A third size range of very large potholes (Population C) that could not be modelled properly within the proposed growth model is interpreted as to represent a very early phase of aggressive regional thermo-chemical erosion and potholing. In general, potholes are dominantly quasi circular with only a subordinate tendency of elongation. In the UG2, potholes with elongated forms are more prevalent in the size range between 20 and 500 m diameter. In the Merensky Reef elongated potholes are more common in the size range above 50 m in diameter. Although not distinctly visible, elongation of potholes in both the UG2 and the Merensky Reef show a net north/south orientation. Using shapes of pothole rims and floor areas, documented for the UG2 in the Waterval Shaft area, it is demonstrated that the northern, down-dip edges of potholes have steeper dips than the southern, up-dip edges. Spatial distribution studies using a uniform quadrant method suggest that in both the UG2 and the Merensky Reef, the potholes are randomly distributed, with a tendency towards clustering. Clustering appears to be more prevalent in the smaller Population A potholes. Bearing all findings in mind, it is found that the model of thermo-chemical erosion of the cumulus floor by new influxes of superheated magma best explains the observed data. Partial to complete melting of the cumulate floor occurred in three phases. The first represents the emplacement of hot magma. This magma, due to turbulent flow and high chemical and physical potential, aggressively attacks the existing floor (crystal mush on the magma/floor interface). Regional erosion is manifested by large, often coalescing potholes. During the second phase, when the magma emplacement process ceased and cooling in situ started, two distinct periods of pothole formation ensued. The first is related to rapid cooling along the relatively steep part of the Newton Cooling Curve, when Population B potholes nucleated randomly and grew rapidly with concurrent convective overturn and largely laminar flow condition. The second period of cooling occurred on the shallow-dipping part of the Newton Cooling Curve. Population A pothole growth became more subdued and nucleation appears to have been, at least locally, clustered. The final phase of this proposed 'super magma cycle' was introduced when chromitite crystallization and precipitation terminated pothole formation. This was followed sequentially by pyroxene and plagioclase crystallization to form the typical cyclic units of the Critical Zone. No suitable proxy could be found for the prediction of pothole density of potholes associated with the UG2 (likely due to limited spatial data coverage), and these are best predicted by extrapolation. The Merensky Reef slope index, in contrast, provides a proxy for pothole density, enabling prediction with reasonable confidence. This predictive model has been verified using underground information. The findings made during the course of this investigation have, when implemented, significant impact. Successful implementation will not only allow enhanced resource and reserve definition, but also better mine planning and scheduling <![CDATA[<b>Mining method selection by AHP approach</b>]]> One of the most critical and complicated steps in mine design is a suitable mining method selection based upon geological, geotechnical, geographical and economical parameters. Since there are many factors involved in mining method selection, the decisionmaking process is very difficult. In this paper, the Analytical Hierarchy Process, with 13 criteria, is used to develop a suitable mining method for the Golbini No. 8 deposit in Jajarm (Iran). Six alternatives (conventional cut and fill, mechanized cut and fill, shrinkage stoping, sublevel stoping, bench mining, and stull stoping) are evaluated. The studies show that the suitable mining method for this deposit in the present situation is the conventional cut and fill method <![CDATA[<b>Limestone quarry quality optimization for a cement factory in Turkey</b>]]> Many factors govern the size and shape of an open pit, and these must be properly understood and used in the short and long-term planning of any open pit and quarrying operation. The importance of each factor will depend on the particular project, but the geology, grade, and localization of mineralization, extent of the deposit, topography, property boundaries, production rates, bench height, pit slopes, road grades, mining costs, and cut-off grades are key elements of open pits. This paper discusses the work done on the above parameters in order to provide an optimal production plan for a limestone quarry and clay deposits that provide raw material for a cement factory in Turkey. Soke cement factory has 1 400 000 tons of clinker capacity and is located on the western part of Turkey, in the province of Aydn. It is one of the largest facilities in the cement sector in terms of capacity, and it has a large advantage over facilities because the location of the factory was chosen to obtain the raw materials necessary for cement production within very short distances. However, the old reserves that supplied limestone to the factory had been reported to have run out, and therefore new limestone reserves in the same province have been investigated over the years by experienced geologists. From surface samples, high MgO content was reported in the neighbourhood of limestone formations with high dolomatization; hence, other alternatives were taken into consideration. One alternative with better chemical composition had been found 24 km away from the factory, but the haulage cost of limestone was unacceptable for the factory due to high diesel prices in Turkey. The maximum allowable MgO content in the pre-mix feed to a rotating furnace is 2.5% MgO content in pre-mix from both limestone and clay deposits. The clay deposits belonging to the cement factory have higher MgO content than the limestone deposit, and therefore this quality problem was taken into consideration first, instead of transporting material from 24 km away. This study gives the details of work done to evaluate both the clay and limestone deposits, statistical analysis performed on core samples taken from drill holes, mathematical modelling for both sites, and most importantly of all, in-pit homogenization work that reduced the pre-mix MgO content. As a result of this study, the profitable limestone quantity has been improved in order to serve the cement factory over a projected 25 additional years without using any material from the close deposit <![CDATA[<b>A zero-one integer programming model for open pit mining sequences</b>]]> The aim of short-term production scheduling is to decide which blocks of ore and waste to mine in which time period (shift, days, weeks or months) so that several operational and geometrical constraints can be satisfied simultaneously. Since 1960s several mathematical programming approaches were developed for solving production scheduling problems that are based on a combination of various operational research approaches such as linear programming (LP), integer programming (IP), dynamic programming (DP), etc. A number of models have been developed in the past three decades but some models have limited application especially to geometrical mining constraints. One of the geometrical constraints is block accessibility. All blocks must be accessible to mining equipments on the same bench. In this paper a binary integer programming model is developed in order to incorporate block accessibility constraints in an efficient manner. This mathematical model insures that each block has been open and can be loaded and transported easily by shovels and trucks <![CDATA[<b>Longwall face stability index (LFSI): A novel approach for estimation of chock-shield pressure and face convergence</b>]]> Several longwall faces in India have collapsed due to adverse geological conditions and/or inadequate capacity of powered supports. Thus it is imperative to access the capacity of a powered support and its interaction at longwall faces of varying geomining conditions in advance with lots of confidence. To achieve this, an index has been developed to ascertain the front leg pressure (FLP) of chock-shield support and roof-to-floor convergence (RFC) at longwall faces. The index called 'Longwall Face Stability Index' (LFSI) has been developed using statistics and Finite Element Modelling (FEM). The front leg pressure (FLP) and roof-to-floor convergence (RFC) predicted from the LFSI are validated with the field monitored data from two longwall panels. In this study, an attempt is also made to incorporate various geomining conditions into the finite element models typical of longwall mining practice. The index has taken into account the wide variations of geomining parameters like thickness, young's modulus and friction angle of main roof (small, large), coal type (soft, hard), powered support capacity, and depth of coal seam. Thus, LFSI can be thought of as an index representing combined effect of roof type, geomining conditions and powered support capacity <![CDATA[<b>Technical skills - a major strategic issue</b>]]> A shortage of technical skills in all areas of the mining industry is being experienced worldwide. This has significant consequences for design, operations, productivity and safety and, therefore, needs to be seriously addressed, both in the short and longer term. It is therefore both a strategic and a tactical issue. Importantly, however, since mining is a long-term business, the shortage of skills must be dealt with from a strategic point of view to ensure the supply of the necessary skills for future mining. This paper will deal specifically with the provision of high level technical skills, that is, university graduates in mining engineering, and the outlook for the institutions that are currently producing such graduates <![CDATA[<b>The effect of thermal drying on the mechanical strength of South African coals</b>]]> The dewatering of coal, and particularly fine coal, continues to challenge coal prepatration engineers to find a cost-effective solution. With known world oil reserves being depleted daily, it is envisaged that the future price of coal may justify the use of thermal drying to achieve lower coal product moisture levels. The effect of exposure of the coal to elevated toemperatures on the mechanical strength of the coal was investigated. It was found that temperature does not play a major role in determining the volume breakage of a particle and that other variables such as orientation during impact has a much greater influence. A double breakage mechanism was reported during the grindability tests. Surface, as well as volume breakage, occurs for the first 4 minutes while only surface breakage takes place thereafter. Due to this double breakage action, it was found that exposure to temperature does play a role in the amount of breakage and breakage rates during grindability tests. It was also concluded that a particle will break to an optimum size due to impact, after which only its surface will grind away as it is subjected to breakage forces