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Application Of The Q-System To Australian Underground Metal Mines; Proceedings Of The International Workshop On Rock Mass Classification In Underground Mining
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    The applicability of the Q-system [Barton et al. 1974] to Australian underground metal mines is discussed with reference to two common design issues: ground support for horizontal mine development, and assessing the stability of bored raises. Installed ground support in mine development is com-pared to empirical estimates using the Q-system and associated support capacity calculations. Data are graphically presented from 59 specially selected sites at 15 contributing mines. The actual performance of large-diameter raise-bored shafts is also compared to empirical stability assessments using a modified version of Q (Qr, after McCracken and Stacey [1989]). Lower-bound Qr values are plotted against raise diameter for 47 selected sites at 23 mines in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The influence on Q and Qr of some geotechnical aspects of the Australian landscape, the dynamic nature of mines (compared to civil construction), and occupational health and safety regulations are discussed. Stability and support assessments that are based just on Q or Qr are not always conclusive. It is often necessary to consider other rock mass parameters, the regulatory environment, and risk issues. These results are interim; further data collection and analysis are required with regard to comparing actual performance versus empirical assessments.
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