Nord, G & Bray, P 2009, 'Key factors to consider before jumping head first into rapid mine drifting — is your operation ready? ', in PM Dight (ed.), Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Safe and Rapid Development Mining
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 149-164.
There are general statements being made by some senior mining people that despite new equipment and
technologies, mine drifting is encountering reduced advance rates. If true, this could be perceived as a
serious threat to the drill and blast mining method, maybe even to mechanical rock excavation.
In direct contrast to these perceived trends in the mining industry, the construction industry has grasped
what is available from various equipment manufacturers and is now achieving record advance rates. This
being in spite of tougher restrictions imposed on the tunnel-builders with respect to safety, health and more
flexible labour conditions.
This paper investigates aspects of both civil and mining operations and draws out the key areas to be
considered when contemplating rapid development technologies and methods.