Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
SUORINENI, F.T.; HEBBLEWHITE, B. and SAYDAM, S.. Geomechanics challenges of contemporary deep mining: a suggested model for increasing future mining safety and productivity. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.12, pp. 1023-1032. ISSN 2411-9717.
This paper pays tribute to the pioneers in geomechanics, and addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time related to deep mining, and how to mitigate these issues. Solutions developed by our predecessors seem to have reached their limits as mines continue to go deeper. The International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) guidelines for rock mass characterization for excavation design also require re-thinking to reflect current knowledge and experience. Thus, a whole new approach is urgently required to increase mine safety and productivity. The paper will draw on the challenges and experiences in medicine and science that have been overcome through genuine collaboration, advances in technology, and impressive funding, which can be adopted to provide solutions to contemporary geomechanics challenges for increased safety and productivity as mines continue to go deeper.
Keywords : pioneers in geomechanics; pressing issues; new thinking; collaboration.