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Material transfer in underground mines often relies on ore and waste pass systems. Over the years the authors have investigated the design and performance of orepass systems in several Canadian and South African mines. It has been recognised that while most mining operations have either implicitly or explicitly clearly defined objectives aimed to design and successfully operate orepass systems, there seems to be an absence of a strategy on how to best attain these goals. Consequently, it is not surprising that the majority of operations reviewed by the authors experience a number of problems of varying degrees of severity and economic consequences. This is illustrated by reference to both South African and Canadian operations. The second part of this paper focuses on a review of tactical interventions to rectify orepass problems or mitigate their impact. The paper closes with a framework for a flexible strategy for the design and operation of orepass systems.
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