Authors: Ladinig, T; Wimmer, M; Wagner, H

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DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_45

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Ladinig, T, Wimmer, M & Wagner, H 2022, 'Raise caving: a novel mining method for (deep) mass mining', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 651-666, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_45

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Abstract:
Raise caving is a novel mining method, which is based on the raise mining method. Raises are central and utilised for different purposes. Here only those directly related to the extraction of the orebody will be discussed. The main objective of raises is to utilise them for creating de-stressing slots, large drawbells and large stopes in an efficient manner. Remote-controlled or automated machinery is operated in raises. Further objectives of raises comprise monitoring and preconditioning. Depending on the field of application two different variants of raise caving can be distinguished, namely a de-stressing variant and a block caving variant. In the de-stressing variant, narrow slots are created first with the objective of providing stress shadows for mining activities in the subsequent production phase. Creating the slots in the de-stressing phase is high stress mining. Hence, massive pillars are left between slots to control the stress situation for de-stress raise development and mining-induced seismicity. After the de-stressing phase is completed, large-scale mineral extraction commences in de-stressed zones. In the production phase large drawbells are developed from raises and large stopes are extracted. During stope blasting only the swell of each blast is mucked so that blasted rock mass provides temporary support to the stope walls. After blasting is completed, the stope is drawn empty and the hanging wall is allowed to cave and caved hanging wall rock mass fills up the stope successively. The massive pillars are extracted in the course of large-scale stoping in the production phase too. In the block caving, variant raises are utilised for drawbell development, undercutting, preconditioning and monitoring purposes. Large drawbells are developed from raises. As drawbells are developed in upward direction, the roof area of the drawbells is enlarged constantly until continuous caving is initiated. Due to the integration of several key activities the block caving variant of raise caving is also referred to as integrated raise caving. This paper highlights the background and motivation for raise caving and it describes both raise caving variants. Steps for the implementation of the methods are outlined and advantages of the individual methods are outlined briefly. Key issues for the implementation of raise caving are highlighted and discussed, and an outlook on currently ongoing research and development activities, which include in situ tests of the method and machinery, is provided. Dedicated accompanying papers provide more information on the ongoing research and development.

Keywords: cave mining, mass mining, deep mining, stress management

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