Castro, R, Arancibia, L, Guzman, D & Henriquez, JP 2018, 'Experiments and simulation of gravity flow in block caving through FlowSim', in Y Potvin & J Jakubec (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 313-322.
In block caving, gravity flow plays a key role as it influences ore recovery and dilution. Recent research at the University of Chile has been directed towards expanding the understanding of gravity flow through experiments that could be included in gravity flow simulation tools. FlowSim BC is a rapid simulation tool for gravity flow for long-term block caving planning purposes, which is based on the cellular automata approach. This approach has flexibility to incorporate observed flow mechanisms through unique local rules, which are applied to a discrete media that emulates the caved rock. The mechanisms used in developing FlowSim have been obtained through controlled experiments and mine data analysis. In this paper, the authors present a summary of new understandings obtained through experiments and field data, and the methodology used to calibrate the new mechanisms included in FlowSim. The results indicate that the complexities of gravity flow in block caving applications can be modelled, and that this type of modelling tool can be used effectively for mine planning purposes.
Keywords: block caving, gravity flow, mine planning
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