Quinteiro, C & Nordqvist, A 2022, 'Preliminary results from tests using sublevel caving with 40 m sublevel height at LKAB', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 699-712, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_48
LKAB operates two underground iron ore mines located in the northern part of Sweden, both using sublevel caving as the mining method. Common sublevel heights vary between 25–30 m. Tests with 40 m sublevel height is ongoing in a fairly small orebody called Konsuln located close to the main Kiruna orebody. LKAB has developed three sublevels (436, 486 and 536 m) in Konsuln to test sublevel caving with 40 and 50 m sublevel height. The objective with these tests is to assess the applicability of large sublevel heights in some of the LKAB future production areas. The production started in March 2021 at level 436, and it is currently the only level in production. Development work with the ramp started in 2018. Production drilling is ongoing at the second level (486 m) with 50 m sublevel height and drifting is being completed at the third level (50 m sublevel height). About 0.8 Mt has been produced so far from blasted rings at level 436. Preparations necessary for planning and for the assessment of the performance of these large sublevel heights includes:
Follow up of the performance of the rings involves collection of data from loaded buckets, recovered markers, blast function (vibrations) and visual inspections as well as laser scanning when appropriate. This paper describes the preparations and the results achieved so far for blasted rings using 40 m sublevel height.
Keywords: sublevel caving, field tests, caving mechanism
Kvapil, R 1998, ‘The mechanics and design of sublevel caving systems’, in RE Gertsch & RL Bullock (eds.), Techniques in underground mining – Selections from underground mining methods handbook, Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, Littleton, pp. 621–653.
Larsson, L 1998, Projekt Skivras 2000, final report 98–765, LKAB, Kiruna, in Swedish.
Nordqvist, A & Wimmer, M 2014, ‘Large-scale field test of gravity flow at the Kiruna mine’, Proceedings of the Aachen International Mining Symposia (AIMS), Druckservice Zillekens, Stolberg, pp. 621–636.
Nordqvist, A & Wimmer, M 2016, ‘Holistic approach to study gravity flow at the Kiruna sublevel caving mine’, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference and Exhibition on Mass Mining, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne, pp. 401–414.
Nordqvist, A, Wimmer, M & Grynienko, M 2020, ‘Gravity flow research at the Kiruna sublevel caving mine during the last decade and an outlook into the future’, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference and Exhibition on Mass Mining, University of Chile, Santiago, pp. 505–518.
Quinteiro, C, Larsson, L & Hustrulid, WA 2001, ‘Theory and practice of very large scale sublevel caving’, in WA Hustrulid & RL Bullock (eds.), Underground Mining Methods – Engineering Fundamentals and International Case Studies, Society for Mining and Metallurgy, Littleton, pp. 381–384.
Quinteiro, C 2018, ‘Design of a new layout for sublevel caving at depth’, in Y Potvin & J Jakubec (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 433–442.
Quinteiro, C 2020, ‘Increasing sublevel height from 30 m to 50 m at LKAB’, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference and Exhibition on Mass Mining, University of Chile, Santiago, pp. 936–945.