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There are many reasons to carry out research in mining operations and its associated technical disciplines, such as solving fundamental problems and adapting new technologies to the mining environment. Carrying out research is not the primary business of mining companies, although it is vital to the long-term health of the industry. In this paper, the differences between fundamental research, innovation and consulting are described, as is how to identify where on the research and development (R&D) spectrum a research project should be positioned. Further, the role of different organisations in conducting R&D work is discussed. Planning and managing research projects and programs can have a significant influence on the cost and success of projects even if they are outsourced to specialist practitioners, which is a common practice in research work today. An example of how the planning and positioning of R&D projects can be assisted by classification methods is given. Finally, some research areas that are of particular relevance to cave mining are suggested.
Keywords: R&D, innovation, cave mining problems, mining-induced seismicity, preconditioning
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