Authors: Zhang, P

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Zhang, P 2022, 'Rockburst management at LKAB’s Kiirunavaara Mine: what can we learn from COVID-19 management', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 1135-1146,

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Managing rockburst has been a challenging task in hard rock mines for many decades, and which still remains difficult especially when mining goes deeper. Since 2007, Kiirunavaara Mine has been identified as a seismically active mine and many severe rockbursts have occurred since then. Management of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection and treatment is also challenging in our society and we have been suffering from the wide-spreading of the coronavirus. Based on our recent studies, it is found that there are many similarities between triggered rockburst and coronavirus infection. Considering the experiences obtained from coronavirus prevention and treatment, it is worthy of making a decent comparison of these two things and try to learn the lessons from COVID-19 management when thinking about rockburst management at LKAB’s Kiirunavaara Mine. This paper first reviews the chain of infection, pathophysiology of COVID-19, various preventative measures to reduce the chances of infection and current treatments after being infected with SARS-CoV-2. After that, the rockburst management at LKAB’s Kiirunavaara Mine is presented and compared with the COVID-19 management in terms of chain of dynamic interaction, damage mechanism, prevention or mitigation measures as well as treatment. Through the comparison, some suggestions are given regarding how to improve the present rockburst management at the Kiirunavaara Mine. Examples from recent studies in the mine are used to illustrate the improved understanding of the rockburst issues and improvement of the rockburst mitigation strategies. Discussion is presented on where further research or improvements would be conducted in the future.

Keywords: rockburst, damage mechanism, mitigation measures, treatment, COVID-19

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