Suzuki Morales, K & Suorineni, FT 2017, 'Using numerical modelling to represent parameters affecting cave mining', in M Hudyma & Y Potvin (eds), UMT 2017: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Underground Mining Technology
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 295-307, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_rep/1710_23_Suzuki_Morales
Caving geomechanics is still not well-understood, mainly because it is not possible to enter the cave and measure all the rock mass parameters involved in the caving process. Caving geomechanics is a typical example of rock mechanics being a data-limited problem. However, even if the problem cannot be completely physically described, it is critical to make stepwise advances towards its understanding. Numerical models have an advantage over empirical methods when it comes to understanding the physics of a rock mechanics problem such as caving geomechanics. In using numerical modelling, various hypotheses can be tested and compared to the actual behaviour of the rock mass response to caving. Predicting rock mass caveability remains a challenge. Available empirical tools aiming to predict caveability are known to be unreliable, while numerical modelling has the challenge of identifying and accounting for potential factors to be included in such models to make the outputs reliable. The complexity of these models and their sizes result in excessive run times. This paper presents the next step in numerical modelling in an attempt to understand caving mechanics as a basis for a better caveability prediction guide in the process of mine design in caving mines. The study is based on identifying the critical factors and their role in caving performance. These issues are investigated using a discrete element code where pre-existing discontinuities are explicitly incorporated.
Keywords: caveability prediction, empirical methods, numerical modelling, geomechanics
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