Evaluation of In Situ Cemented Backfill Performance
Description:As part of its research program to investigate ways of improving resource recovery and reducing subsidence, researchers from the U.S. Bureau of Mines placed instruments in the B-North ore body of the Cannon Mine, Wenatchee, WA, to monitor cemented backfill and rock deformation during mining. The vibrating-wire gauges proved to be reliable and versatile, and approximately half of the instruments are providing data after 2 years of use. A two-dimensional, finite-element model was used to analyze the Cannon Mine's multilevel bench cut-and-fill mining method and predict rock and backfill displacements. The model accurately predicted rock displacements, but the predicted and measured displacements in cemented backfill had a correlation coefficient near zero, indicating that the model should only be used to predict rock displacements and not backfill displacements. A finite-difference model was also used to evaluate the stability of a cemented backfill pillar. Results can be used to conservatively predict backfill stresses, but on-site observation of pillar failures coupled with in situ measurements are needed to make more accurate predictions. An ongoing evaluation of the mining system has indicated that filling the primary stopes tight to the back with cemented backfill allowed these pillars to carry overburden loads soon after the cemented backfill was placed.
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