Authors: Westley-Hauta, RL; Meyer, S

Open access courtesy of:

DOI https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_76

Cite As:
Westley-Hauta, RL & Meyer, S 2022, 'Characterisation of seismic activity at a kimberlite block caving operation in a complex geological setting in Quebec, Canada', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1101-1120, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_76

Download citation as:   ris   bibtex   endnote   text   Zotero


Abstract:
Stornoway Diamonds’ Renard Mine is an inclined block caving operation that began underground production of more than 6,000 tonnes per day from two kimberlite pipes in 2018. After the resumption of operations in September 2020 after a temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was observed by underground workers and the mine’s ground control department that the seismic activity rate had increased. Three large events greater than magnitude MN 2 occurred within one month during the spring of 2021. Based on underground observations, the probable source of these events was a normal fault slip in proximity to a 90,000 m3 underground void, and no major damage to active excavations was observed. A seismic system was brought online in September 2021, and it has served numerous functions to date, most important of which is to enhance the understanding the seismic hazard in the mine’s active excavations. A considerable portion of the seismic activity has taken place between the primary Renard 2 pipe (R2) and the nearby smaller secondary Renard 3 pipe (R3) located 100 m to the southeast of the R2 pipe which indicates a strong interaction between these zones. Moment tensor inversions were completed of more than 1,000 seismic events; the mine’s in situ stress orientation was estimated and used to calibrate the mine’s numerical models. The source mechanisms of the seismic events are contextualised with spatial data related to mining activities to categorise the seismicity (such as caving events and slip-type events on geological structures) and to understand the rock mass response to mining over time. The seismic system is used by the mining operation to visualise the seismicity in real time, and in collaboration with the Institute of Mine Seismology, analysis of the seismic data has allowed the operation to understand the seismic response to mining in a complex geological setting.

Keywords: block caving, seismicity, moment tensor inversion, kimberlite, stress

References:
Bouzeran, L, Fuenzalida, M & Pierce, M 2020, Advanced Caving Analysis for Renard Mine — R2 Pipe Lift 2, internal report.
Brummer, RK 2010, Mine Design Interim Report – Stornoway - In-situ Stress, internal report.
Hardebeck, JL & Hauksson, E 2001, ‘Stress orientations obtained from earthquake focal mechanisms: What are appropriate uncertainty estimates?’, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, vol. 91, no. 2, pp. 250–262.
Heidbach, O, Tingay, M, Barth, A, Reinecker, J, Kurfeß, D & Müller, B 2008, The World Stress Map Database Release 2008, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Potsdam,
Hudson, JA, Pearce, RG & Rogers, RM 1989, ‘Source type plot for inversion of the moment tensor’, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 94, no. B1, pp. 765–774.
Lépine, I & Farrow, D 2018, ‘3D geological modelling of the Renard 2 kimberlite pipe, Québec, Canada: from exploration to extraction’, Mineralogy and Petrology, vol. 112, no. 2, pp. 411–419.
Lynch, R, Meyer, S, Lotter, E & Lett, J 2018, ‘Tracking cave shape development with microseismic data’, in Y Potvin & J Jakubec (eds), Caving 2018: Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 555-564,
Malovichko, D 2012, ‘Discrimination of blasts in mine seismology’, in Y Potvin (ed.), Deep Mining 2012: Proceedings of the Sixth International Seminar on Deep and High Stress Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 161–172,
Malovichko, D 2022, ‘Utility of seismic source mechanisms in mining’, Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium on Rockbursts and Seismicity in Mines, Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Englewood.
Martinsson, J 2013, ‘Robust bayesian hypocentre and uncertainty region estimation: The effect of heavy-tailed distributions and prior information in cases with poor, inconsistent and insufficient arrival times’, Geophysical Journal International, vol. 192, no. 3, pp. 1156–1178,
Michael, J 1984, ‘Determination of stress from slip data: Faults and folds’, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, vol. 89, pp. 517–526.
Meyer, S 2021, Renard Mine: Preliminary Observations from Blast Vibration Monitoring, technical report, Institute of Mine Seismology, Kingston.
Nordström, E, Dineva, S & Nordlund, E 2017, ‘Source parameters of seismic events potentially associated with damage in block 33/34 of the Kiirunavaara mine (Sweden)’, Acta Geophysica, vol. 65, no. 6, pp. 1229–1242,
Sethian, JA 1996, ‘A fast marching level set method for monotonically advancing fronts’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 93, no. 4, pp. 1591–1595
Wiles, TD 2010, Map3D, computer software, Map3D International Ltd, www.map3d.com




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