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, The Southern Africa Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Johannesburg, pp. 191-204.
Finding rock reinforcement solutions for poor rock conditions has attracted increased attention in recent years. While modern face drilling, long hole drilling, truck and loader technologies are able to improve productivity, rock reinforcement has become the bottleneck point in the drill and blast process. As a result, the overall productivity of underground hard rock mining has essentially stalled, especially as mines go deeper and deeper in the pursuit of orebodies. Commonly used bolt designs are not necessarily designed for ease of mechanised installation, resulting in long installation times and uncertain installation quality. The industry needs a step change in order to move forward.
As part of the ground control work package of the Sustainable and Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS) initiative, Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) and Epiroc Rock Drills AB partnered in a project to develop a rock bolting system solution to improve the productivity, flexibility, quality and safety of mechanised rock reinforcement.
This paper illustrates the project background, development stages, implementation and results from new technologies that have provided significant improvements in rock bolt and mesh installation at LKAB’s Malmberget underground operation.
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