Authors: Fernandez, F; Evans, P; Gelson, R


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Fernandez, F, Evans, P & Gelson, R 2010, 'Design and implementation of a damage assessment system at Argyle Diamond’s block cave project', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2010: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 65-81,

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A fundamental concept of rock mechanics establishes that damage may occur as a result of rock mass disturbance due to excavation. Experience in block and panel caving mines indicates that the mechanism and magnitude of damage changes as the cave progresses through the various mining stages of drives development, undercutting, drawbells opening, ore drawing, etc. Recording observations and ground monitoring information facilitates the understanding of both ground behaviour and rock mass mechanics enabling the implementation of cost-effective preventative measures to reduce damage. At Argyle Diamonds Underground Project (ADUP) a damage classification system was developed based on a semi-quantitative methodology by considering in situ ground conditions, mining induced conditions, ground support and reinforcement performance. The subsequent assessment provided a damage descriptive ranking that can be represented by coloured maps and be integrated and back-analysed with other monitoring results, such as convergence information, enabling a better understanding of ground behaviour and damage mechanisms across the block cave mine.

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