Authors: Bawden, WF
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The data-limited nature of mining geomechanics problems often result in high degrees of uncertainty in design analyses. Greater uncertainty results in the application of higher safety factors and resulting costs. While empirical design methods, instrumentation and particularly numerical modelling have undergone transformational change over the past 35-40 years, with the exception of the introduction of scanning technologies, there has been very little advance in geotechnical data collection techniques. The result is that our modelling capabilities now vastly exceed our ability to characterise fractured rock masses and parameterise design models. The failure to recognise the high level of inherent uncertainty in many, if not most, geomechanical analyses can arise as an unforeseen fatal flaw in high level corporate decisionmaking. This paper provides an incomplete review of advancements in geomechanical mine design over the past 40odd years, an assessment of the present status and a view of where significant advances are required.


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