Rock Mechanics Investigations at the Lucky Friday Mine (In Three Parts) - RI 9432
Description:Researchers at the U.S. Bureau of Mimes monitored rock mass response to mining of an experimental underhand longwall stope in Hecla Mining Co.'s Lucky Friday Mine, Mullan, ID. This stope design, the Lucky Friday underhand longwall (LFUL), was proposed as a means of controlling rock bursting while also allowing increased mechanization of mining operations. Instruments were specifically manufactured to monitor three geomechanical factors (backfill performance, ramp stability, and rock mass response) that directly affect the success of stope design. Despite considerable difficulties with instrument installation and survival in the harsh mine environment, especially within the stope fill, sufficient information was collected to suggest that the LFUL method was successful in achieving project goals. This conclusion, in addition to favorable economic and operational evidence, led the mine to adopt the method throughout the mine. Indeed, this study and mining experience suggest that underhand longwall mining could be considered a feasible mining method for rock-burst-prone ground throughout the Coeur d'Alene District. Further Reports of Investigations (RI) in this series present in-depth analyses of the effects of backfill on rock bursting and calibration of a stope numerical model.
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