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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717

Abstract

POTVIN, Y.. Strategies and tactics to control seismic risks in mines. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2009, vol.109, n.3, pp. 177-186. ISSN 2411-9717.

The risk associated with mining induced seismicity is one of the major threats to the safety and sustainability of deep underground mines. This paper describes techniques that allow site practitioners to efficiently control such risks in mines. The proposed approaches rely on ground support to strategically control seismic risk nd reentry time to tactically control this risk. The strategic approach is based on the detailed understanding of past seismicity to ascertain the seismic hazard of individual sources throughout the mine. This approach also relies on assessing the potential damage that these sources can induce on nearby excavations using the xcavation vulnerability potential (EVP) and rockburst damage potential (RDP) concepts proposed by Heal et al. (2006). It is then possible to investigate how to reduce the risk of experiencing damaging seismicity in mine drives by locally enhancing the ground support system. The tactical approach relies on a proposed ethodology to estimate reliable re-entry times or exclusion periods based on the seismic decay following blasting. Some examples of how these techniques have been applied in Australian mines are given.

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