Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
The aim of any mine design is to ensure that the excavations remain stable for the period they will be in use. Various pillar systems are used to ensure that underground stopes remain stable and that mining activities do not affect the surface infrastructure through either surface subsidence or seismicity. Intermediate-depth platinum mines make use of in-stope pillars designed to fail while the pillars are being cut at the mining face. The pillar stress exceeds the loading capacity and the pillars crush as a result. The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of in-stope crush pillars. This will include the application, behaviour, function, mechanism, impact, and design of a crush pillar system.
Keywords : crush pillars; controlled failure; limit equilibrium model; pillar layout.