Stephenson, RM, Chilala, GC, Harris, R & Watson, O 2015, 'Establishing geotechnical processes for improved mine design at Bulyanhulu', in Y Potvin (ed.), Proceedings of the International Seminar on Design Methods in Underground Mining
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 233-240, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1511_11_Stephenson
A combination of numerical and empirical design methods are employed for geotechnical input to mine design at Bulyanhulu, a narrow vein underground mining operation in Tanzania. Longhole open stoping, drift-and-fill, and Alimak stoping methods are currently in use.
Geotechnical design methods for longhole open stoping were refined and documented in a procedure to achieve a standardised approach. The procedure incorporates streamlined methods for data collection to make the best use of diamond drill hole logging, geological, and geotechnical mapping. Methods of backanalysis are also incorporated in the geotechnical designs.
In order to be effective, the procedure was implemented concurrently with a broader improvement project that focused on all aspects of the geotechnical engineering systems and processes. The project aimed to improve and streamline all geotechnical functions, to develop sustainable work processes within the geotechnical group and integration with other technical groups.
This paper discusses the implementation of the improvement programme and the impact on the success of geotechnical designs. The programme addresses group organisation, procedures and management plans, geotechnical analysis, reporting, and the implementation of geotechnical design into mine planning. A discussion is included on the measurement of geotechnical designs using monitoring and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC).
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