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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


DU PLESSIS, M.; MALAN, D.F.  and  NAPIER, J.A.L.. Evaluation of a limit equilibrium model to simulate crush pillar behaviour. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2011, vol.111, n.12, pp.875-885. ISSN 2411-9717.

This paper describes the evaluation of a limit equilibrium model to simulate the behaviour of crush pillars in platinum mines. An analytical model was derived to calculate the residual average pillar stress (APS) values of the crush pillars. The values predicted by this model were compared to the numerical values obtained from TEXAN simulations. In general, the limit equilibrium model appears to be very attractive for simulating pillar failure as the gradual crushing of the outside of the pillar and the transfer of stress to the intact core can be replicated. The value of the TEXAN crush pillar model was further demonstrated by simulating an idealized layout with crush pillars between two adjacent panels. The simulations illustrated that oversized pillars will not crush close to the face and this may lead to seismic failure in the back area. An important finding of the study is that closure measurements may prove to be a very valuable diagnostic measure in crush pillars layouts. Distinct differences in magnitudes of closure were simulated for a scenario where the pillars crush as expected, compared to the scenario where an oversized pillar is left. Experimental closure data collected in a crush pillar stope provided further evidence regarding the value of closure measurements in these layouts.

Keywords : mine design; crush pillars; numerical analysis; limit equilibrium model.

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