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Mining in the production area ‘Block 19’ in the LKAB Kiirunavaara Mine has resulted in extensive seismic activity and several serious rockfalls. This paper describes a modelling study aimed at quantifying the seismic potential for future mining of Block 19, considering several different mining sequences. A 3D discontinuum model was used, in which geological structures were included explicitly to simulate the development of fault slip seismic events. Four different mining sequences were simulated —three of which involved leaving the whole, or part of, Block 19 as an unmined pillar. Mining was simulated from the current active mining level and for a production period of more than 20 years ahead in time. The results were evaluated in terms of stress influences on critical infrastructure in the footwall of Block 19 and, more importantly, the possible extent of fault slip seismic events due to mining (by calculating seismic moments). The results showed that leaving a pillar in Block 19 may be less desirable as higher seismic moments will develop in the final mining stages. However, continued mining without a pillar will also likely result in an increased seismic activity in Block 19, which needs to be addressed appropriately. Block 19 should be mined prior to the neighbouring production areas, but additional and more detailed numerical modelling may be needed to fine-tune the extraction sequence for each level mined.
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