Authors: Kamp, C

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Kamp, C 2022, 'Management of production drift convergence and redevelopment', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 831-848,

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New Afton Mine is a block caving operation, located approximately 10 kilometres outside of Kamloops and 350 kilometres northeast of Vancouver in British Columbia. The New Afton orebody has a unique combination of geometric and geotechnical conditions, including a long and narrow footprint which is highly faulted and hence comprises large areas of poor ground, all of which is subject to a relatively high major horizontal principal stress. The initial deformations (convergence) experienced on the production level (extraction level) of the Lift 1 West Cave proved relatively manageable; however, as mining moved eastward towards the Lift 1 East Cave, which comprised significantly poorer rock mass quality, deformation rates increased causing substantial damage and subsequent repair of the footprint. Block caving in a poor rock mass subject to high cave induced stress changes typically experience large plastic deformations which manifest as drive convergence and in some cases complete drive closure. Such conditions require comprehensive extraction drive and drawpoint redevelopment (rehabilitation), which consequently increases operating costs and constraints production. A conceptual model of convergence and comprehensive ground control rehabilitation strategy for existing drawpoints and extraction drives has been implemented at the New Afton Mine with the aim of managing rock mass damage and maintaining drawpoint integrity until mining is exhausted. A review of ground support and rehabilitation methods along with the conceptual convergence model are discussed. An example case of a drawpoint and associated extraction drive area that was successfully recovered following high convergence is presented.

Keywords: convergence, ground support, rehabilitation, caving

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