Authors: Sredniawa, W; Skawina, B; Rapp, J; Shekhar, G; Gunillasson, J

Open access courtesy of:


Cite As:
Sredniawa, W, Skawina, B, Rapp, J, Shekhar, G & Gunillasson, J 2022, 'Longevity chart for planning production and the renovation of orepasses', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 369-380,

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero

Orepasses are used in rock mass transportation systems to transport the material to lower levels. If the ability to transport the material is lost, the failed orepass can be restored, but the process is usually costly, and the time to restore the orepass is usually long, possibly resulting in disturbances in material flow. This study introduced a longevity chart to plan for the availability and renovation of orepasses. A longevity chart is based on the orepass parameters, such as geotechnical conditions, stress and strength regimes, design parameters, and operational procedures. It guides mine planners in the creation of future production plans and renovation plans for the orepasses. The study presented in this paper was based on the LuossavaaraKiirunavaara Aktiebolag Kiirunavaara sublevel caving mine located in the northern part of Sweden. This paper explains the creation process of the longevity chart and its implementation in renovation plans.

Keywords: orepasses, longevity chart, production planning, renovation

Berglund, J & Andersson, UB 2013, Kinematic Analysis of Geological Structures in Block 34, Kiirunavaara, Luossavaara Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) Investigation, LKAB, Kiruna.
Beus, MJ, Pariseau, WG, Stewart, BM & Iverson, SR 2001, ‘Design of ore passes, in underground mining methods’, in Hustrulid, WA & Bullock, RL (ed.), Mining Underground Methods, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Englewood, pp. 627–634.
Brummer, RK 1998, Design of Orepasses: Methods for Determining the Useful Life of Ore-passes Based on Previous Experience and Case Studies, report to CAMIRO Mining Division.
Hadjigeorgiou, J, Lessard, JF & Mercier-Langevin, F 2004, ‘Issues in selection and design of ore pass support’, in E Villaescusa
& Y Potvin (ed.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Symposium on Ground Support in Mining and Underground Construction, A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 491–497.
Hadjigeorgiou, J & Mercier-Langevin, F 2008, ‘Estimating ore pass longevity in hard rock mines’, Proceedings of the 42nd U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, American Rock Mechanics Association, Alexandria.
Hadjigeorgiou, J & Lessard, JF 2010, ‘Strategies for restoring material flow in ore and waste pass systems’, International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 267–282.
Hambley, DF 1987, ‘Design of ore pass systems for underground mines’, CIM Bulletin, vol. 897, pp. 25–30.
Lessard, JF & Hadjigeorgiou, J 2003, ‘Ore pass systems in Quebec underground mines’, Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Mine Planning and Equipment Selection—MPES.
Sjöberg, J, Lundman, P, Nordlund, E & Quinteiro, C 2003, ‘Stability analysis of ore passes in the Kiirunavaara Mine’, International Society for Rock Mechanics 10th Congress, The South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Johannesburg, South Africa, pp. 1093–1098.
Skawina, B, Greberg, J, Salama, A & Gustafson, A 2018, ‘The effects of orepass loss on loading, hauling, and dumping operations and production rates in a sublevel caving mine’, Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, vol. 118, no. 4, pp. 409-418.
Skawina, B, Salama, A, Gunillasson, J, Strömsten, M & Wettainen, T 2022, ‘Comparison of productivity when running filled, nearempty, or flow-through orepass using discrete event simulation’, Mining, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 186–196,
Stacey, TR & Swart, AH 1997, Investigation into Drawpoints, Tips, Orepasses and Chutes, report to the Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee, Project OTH 303, Mine Health and Safety Council, Johannesburg, South Africa, vol. 1.
Vatcher, J, McKinnon, SD & Sjöberg, J 2016, ‘Developing 3-D mine-scale geomechanical models in complex geological environments, as applied to the Kiirunavaara Mine’, Engineering Geology, vol. 203, pp. 140–150.

© Copyright 2022, Australian Centre for Geomechanics (ACG), The University of Western Australia. All rights reserved.
Please direct any queries or error reports to