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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


FERREIRA, P.H.  and  PIRODDI, A.. The application of GRP and thin spray liner support products in a typical block cave mining method to enhance safety and productivity. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.2, pp.141-150. ISSN 2411-9717.

A typical sub-level block cave mining extraction method employs an undercut level to establish a cavity in hard rock, and as such requires special support methods and products to be installed during the development phase. The undercut level development in the block cave orebody is then sacrificial, and support elements will eventually report to the crusher and perhaps conveyor belt systems for transportation to surface. The choice of support products installed in the undercut level development should take cognizance of the detrimental effect these could have on the mining system such as cutting of conveyor belts, obstructing crushers, safety aspects, and productivity. This work explores the probability and practicality of making use of new-generation support products to make the operation safer as well as enhance productivity in the development phase and during the undercut operation. This paper will investigate the use of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) rockbolts and GRP mesh instead of conventional steel bolts and mesh along with resin capsule-filled holes with the GRP bolts. Complementing this with thin spray liner (TSL) application as another means of creating a safer operating environment, as well as a productive support medium, will also be addressed. These proposed items are envisaged to reduce production downtime and improve the safety of our people. These items are all easy and light to handle, cuttable and crusher friendly, as they will break up during the crushing process.

Keywords : thin spray liners; GRP bolts.

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