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, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 431-441, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1201_31_castro
Caving methods rely on gravity to break and transport large amounts of ore and waste. The application of massive underground mining is becoming ever more prevalent, specifically caving mines at deeper levels, mainly due to the depletion of mining reserves. It is thus relevant to study mechanisms that occur at deeper levels. Despite the importance of gravity flow, there is a lack of information in the literature about the influence that the confinement (weight of the ore column) has on the geometry of extraction and movement zones. This paper presents the design and results of an experimental set up to investigate the mechanisms of flow of cohesionless materials when drawing from a single drawpoint under confinement. Preliminary experimental results showed that isolated draw zones are mainly influenced by the mass drawn and the confinement applied. Particle size was found to have no significant effect upon the movement and extraction zones. Confinement was found to have a significant effect upon the extraction zone. These conclusions are based upon empirical data to define the parameters thought to be relevant in controlling isolated draw.
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