Rahimi, B & Sharifzadeh, M 2017, 'Evaluation of ground management in underground excavation design', in J Wesseloo (ed.), Deep Mining 2017: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Deep and High Stress Mining
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 813-826, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1704_56_Rahimi
A variety of challenges and problems are encountered by unstable rock failure which is associated with in situ stress, geological structures, geometry, excavation sequence, groundwater and operational conditions. It is basically required predicting ground behaviour and rock failure mechanism in a modern design of underground excavations. The complexity of ground conditions and uncertainties make it more difficult to control and avoid occurrences of failure. Ground management is a process to predict rock mass behaviour and failure modes, and apply proper ground support systems. Hazard identification and failure mechanism assessments assist in selecting suitable design method(s) to manage risks. The aim of this paper is to consider the main types of rock structure and rock mass behaviour modes to outline ground management in underground excavation design. Evaluation of rock mass instability conditions by proper design methods can provide a safe environment in working stopes. The Karari underground gold mine has been used as a case study. The rock mass structure was characterised as jointed/blocky/bedded class and ground behaviour types identified for evaluation were ‘intact rock failure’, ‘structural failure’ and ‘water effect’. The primary planning for ground management established to evaluate rockbolts, mesh and shotcrete as a ground support system, and using smooth blasting/sequential excavation method in faults and shear zones to control possible failures in the portal access of the mine.
Keywords: rock mass structure, ground behaviour, ground management, underground excavation design, ground support system
Aziza, N, Black, BD & Rena, T 2011, ‘Mine gas drainage and outburst control in Australian underground coal mines’, Procedia Engineering, vol. 26, pp. 84–92.
Bieniawski, ZT 1992, Design Methodology in Rock Engineering: Theory, Education and Practice, Balkema, Rotterdam.
Brown, ET & Rosengren, KJ 2000, Characterising the mining environment for underground mass mining, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Carlton South, viewed 23 December 2016,
Cai, M 2013, ‘Principles of rock support in burst-prone ground’, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, vol. 36, pp. 46–56.
GCMP, SKU 2015, Karari Underground Ground Control Management Plan, Saracen Gold Mines Pty Limited, Perth, Western Australia.
Gray, DJ, Robertson, IDM, Cornelious, M, Sergeev, NB & Porto, CG 2005, ‘Karari and Whirling Dervish Gold Deposits, Western Australia’, in CRM Butt, IDM Robertson, KM Scott & M Cornelius (eds), Regolith Expression of Australian Ore Systems, CRC Leme, Perth, Western Australia, pp. 274–275.
Grimstad, E & Barton, N 1993, ‘Updating of the Q-System for NMT’, in R Kompen, OA Opsahl & KR Berg (eds), Proceedings of the International Symposium on Sprayed Concrete - Modern Use of Wet Mix Sprayed Concrete for Underground Support, Norwegian Concrete Association, Oslo, pp. 46–66.
Hajiabdolmajid, V & Kaiser, P 2003, ‘Brittleness of rock and stability assessment in hard rock tunnelling’, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, vol. 18, pp. 35–48.
Hencher, S 2012, Practical Engineering Geology, Spon Press, New York, USA.
Hoek, E 2006, Practical Rock Engineering, Evert Hoek Consulting Engineer Inc, North Vancouver, British Columbia.
Hoek, E & Brown, ET 1980, Underground Excavations in Rock, Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London, pp. 527.
Jager, AJ & Ryder, JA 1999, A Handbook on Rock Engineering Practice for Tabular Hard Rock Mines, The Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Kaiser, PK, Cai, M 2012, ‘Design of rock support system under rock burst condition’, Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 215–227.
Kaiser, PK, Diederichs, MS, Martin, CD, Sharp, J & Steiner, W 2000, ‘Underground works in hard rock tunnelling and mining’, Proceedings of the GeoEng 2000 Conference, Technomic Publishers Co Inc, Lancaster, pp. 841–926.
Kaiser, PK & Kim, BH 2008, ‘Rock mechanics challenges in underground construction and mining’, in Y Potvin, J Carter, A Dyskin & R Jeffery (eds), Proceedings of the First South Hemisphere International Rock Mechanics Symposium, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 23–38.
Kaiser, PK, McCreath, DR & Tannant, DD 1996, Canadian Rockburst Support Handbook, Geomechanics Research Centre/MIRARCO, Sudbury, Ontario.
Lafrance, N, Auvray, C, Souley, M & Labiouse, V 2016, ‘Impact of weathering on macro-mechanical properties of chalk: Local pillarscale study of two underground quarries in the Paris Basin’, Engineering Geology, vol. 213, pp. 107–119.
Lang, AM, 1995, ‘Ground control management for underground mining’, in TS Golosinski (ed.), Proceedings of the 6th Underground Operators’ Conference, 13–14 November, Kalgoorlie, The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Carlton South, pp. 45–53.
Li, CC 2015, ‘Development trend of underground rock support’, in F Hassani, J Hadjigeorgiou & JF Archibald (eds), Proceedings of the 13th International Congress of Rock Mechanics, 10–13 May 2015, Montreal, The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum and International Society for Rock Mechanics, ISBN 978-1-926872-25-4, pp. 1–10.
Mercier–Langevin, F, Hadjigeorgiou, J 2011, ‘Towards a better understanding of squeezing potential in hard rock mines’, Mining Technology Journal, vol. 120, no. 1, pp. 36–44.
Ozturk, CA 2013, ‘Support design of underground openings in an asphaltite mine’, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, vol. 38, pp. 288–305.
Palmstrom, A 2015, Joints and Jointing, viewed 23 December 2016, www.rockmass.net/articles/geological_features
Palmstrom, A, 1996, ‘Characterizing rock masses by the RMi for use in practical rock engineering, Part 2: some practical applications of the Rock Mass index (RMi)’, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 287–303.
Palmstrom, A & Stille, H, 2015, Rock Engineering, 2nd edn, Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, London.
Peng, SS, 2007, Ground Control Failures – A pictorial view of case studies, PhD thesis, Department of Mining Engineering College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown.
Potvin, Y, Dight, PM & Wesseloo, J 2015, ‘Some pitfalls and misuse of rock mass classification systems for mine design’, in Y Potvin (ed.), Proceedings of the International Seminar on Design Methods in Underground Mines, 17–19 November 2015, Perth, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1–12.
Potvin, Y & Nedin, P 2003, Management of Rock fall Risks in Underground Metalliferous Mines, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, Western Australia.
Russenes, BF 1974, Analysis of Rock Spalling for Tunnels in Steep Valley Sides, MSc Thesis, Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim, pp. 247.
Stacey, TR 2012, ‘Support of excavations subjected to dynamic (rockburst) loading’, in Qian & Zhou (eds), Harmonising Rock Engineering and the Environment, Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-0-415-80444-8.
Stille, H & Palmstrom, A, 2003, ‘Classification as a tool in rock engineering’, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, vol. 18, pp. 331–345.
Szwedzicki, T, 2003, ‘Rock mass behaviour prior to failure’, International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences, vol. 40, pp. 573–584.
Thompson, AG, Villaescusa, E & Windsor, CR 2011, ‘Ground support terminology and classification: an update’, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, vol. 30,
Woolley, CE & Andrews, P 2015, ‘Short term – solutions to squeezing ground at Agnew Gold Mine’, in Y Potvin (ed.), Proceedings of the International Seminar on Design Methods in Underground Mines, 17–19 November 2015, Perth, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 199–214.