Authors: Castro, R; Gómez, RE; Pérez, Á

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DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_74

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Castro, R, Gómez, RE & Pérez, Á 2022, 'Physical modelling as a tool to improve our understanding of mechanisms of cave flow', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1071-1088, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_74

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Abstract:
In block caving, gravity flow of broken ore has been studied using different tools, highlighting the application of scaled physical models, numerical modelling and field studies. These tools, with their advantages and disadvantages, have allowed different variables involved during ore draw to be studied. In this paper, we summarise years of physical experiments run in the Block Caving Laboratory to study different underground mining issues. In particular, experiments have been carried out to study fine material migration, induced stresses due to ore draw, secondary fragmentation, hang-ups formed on drawpoints, drawbell geometries, inrush of fines material, and ore extraction in mud conditions. The main significances, its impact and application, are discussed here. This work shows that physical modelling continues to be a powerful and useful tool to study gravity flow in block cave mines, allowing to understand diverse mine engineering problems and to be a practical input to calibrate complex numerical models.

Keywords: block caving, gravity flow, physical modelling, rock mechanics, underground mining

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