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Rock Mass Characterization Of Primary Copper Ore For Caving At The El Teniente Mine, Chile; Proceedings Of The International Workshop On Rock Mass Classification In Underground Mining
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    Rock masses of the primary copper ore at the El Teniente Mine are very competent and massive. The rock mass contains almost no open discontinuities. Nevertheless, there is a high frequency network of small discontinuities coupled with widely spaced faults. A data collection campaign designed to characterize the rock structure was recently implemented. The results show that conventional analysis in terms of discontinuity frequency does not predict differences between two studied sectors. However, when an empirical definition of a weak discontinuity is applied, appreciable differences between the two sectors appear in terms of discontinuity frequency and predicted in situ block size distributions. These differences are in accordance with actual observations at the mine site. Due to the geological features of the primary copper ore, rock mass classification schemes cannot be readily applied to characterize these rock masses.
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