Authors: Bloss, ML


Cite As:
Bloss, ML 2014, 'An operational perspective of mine backfill', in Y Potvin & T Grice (eds), Mine Fill 2014: Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Mining with Backfill, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 15-30,

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Backfilling of voids created by mining is a fundamental component of most underground stoping operations. Without backfill, these operations would be less safe, less productive and shorter in life. Backfilling does not come free of cost and risk, however, and it is this balance of influences on the mining operation that makes successful backfilling such a technical and operational challenge. This paper aims to gather and discuss a wide range of key operational issues, challenges and opportunities associated with mine backfilling. It is not intended to be a scientific paper worthy of peer review (although it does refer to technical issues where they are relevant to operational practices), merely a collection of thoughts based on the author's personal experience over 24 years of research, technical, planning, operational and project roles associated with underground operations that use mine backfill. These operations have utilised both uncemented and cemented varieties (where applicable) of hydraulic and paste fills, aggregate and rockfills, and combinations of these fill types, in cut-and-fill, benching and open stoping operations. To obtain appropriate technical information, the author suggests referring to the many excellent papers published over the years, particularly those in the previous ten international mine backfill symposia.

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