Bulkheads and Drains for High Sandfill Stopes
Description:Large open stopes mined by vertical crater retreat or sublevel s are sometimes backfilled with uncemented sand to support the stope walls and alleviate rock bursts. The failure of bulkheads in two different mines prompted a research project at the Bureau of Mines to prevent a recurrence of these failures. A series of laboratory tests with drains and sand filters was conducted to measure the bulk-head pressures when adequate drainage was maintained. Results showed that bulkhead pressure was reduced to near zero while drains were in operation, as compared to full hydrostatic pressure when drains were blocked or drainage was restricted. A relatively simple, free-draining bulkhead was shown to be adequate.
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