Naidoo, K, Handley, MF & Leach, AP 2008, 'Applying Numerical Modelling to Pillar Design in South African Mines — An Initial Study', in Y Potvin, J Carter, A Dyskin & R Jeffrey (eds), Proceedings of the First Southern Hemisphere International Rock Mechanics Symposium
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 379-390.
The use of bord and pillar mining methods is a favoured approach to mining in many shallow tabular mines, where the orebody dip is relatively flat. Although much work has been done on design methods for pillars under various rock mass conditions, there seems to be a lack of consensus in terms of a uniform methodology that should be used throughout the mining industry. Moreover, there is no synergy between the coal, hard rock gold and platinum mines and the iron ore and manganese mines that use this method of mining. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a preliminary analysis that is being carried out to try and find the ‘Holy Grail’ in the form of a generalised pillar design criterion or formula that is applicable to all mining environments and all modes of failure. Numerical modelling has been performed to ascertain the mechanism of failure in a range of cases and the effect that changes in pillar dimension may have had on pillar stability. At this time only square pillars have been considered.
Crowder, J.J., Coulson, A.L. and Bawden, W.F. (2006) The Field-Scale Rock Mechanics Laboratory: Estimation of Post-Peak Parameters and Behaviour of Fractured Rock Masses. The 41st U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS): 50 Years of Rock Mechanics - Landmarks and Future Challenges, held in Golden, Colorado, June 17–21, 2006.
Hedley, D.G.F. and Grant, F. (1972) Stope pillar design for the Elliot Lake uranium mines. Bulletin of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 65, pp. 37–44.
ITASCA Consulting Group Inc. (2000) FLAC Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua. User’s Guide. Second Edition, August.
ITASCA Consulting Group Inc. (1997) FLAC3D Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua in 3 Dimensions. User Manual.
Jager, A.J. and Ryder, J.A. (editors) (2003) A Handbook on Rock Engineering Practice for Tabular Hard Rock Mines. SIMRAC, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Laubscher, D.H. (1990) A geomechanics classification system for the rating of rock mass in mine design. Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 90, No. 10, pp. 257–273.
Madden, B.J. (1987) An introduction to the squat pillar design formula for collieries. Chamber of Mines Research Organisation Research Report No. 2/87. January.
Roclab program (2008) [online] Available from:
. [Accessed : 4/3/2008]
Salamon, M.D.G. and Munro, A.H. (1967) A method of designing bord and pillar workings. Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 67, pp. 68–78, September.
Stacey, T.R. (2001) Best practice rock engineering handbook for “other” mines. SIMRAC Project Number OTH602, Johannesburg, December.