New industry toolkit to improve mining safety through ground support design
Innovative tools offer guidance in effective ground support design for improved safety and reduced costs in underground mining.
Optimal ground support systems are key to mining safely and economically, however as underground mines operate at greater depth, ground support design becomes more challenging.
A research team led by Professor Yves Potvin at the Australian Centre for Geomechanics has developed a suite of new tools to optimise ground support strategies in industry.
A series of guidelines offer recommendations for designing ground support in highly stressed conditions as well as in complex rock masses. Advanced knowledge on ground support degradation has also demonstrated benefits that can be realised from an alternative approach to uniform shotcrete layer thickness application.
Supporting technology transfer, a suite of user friendly apps are now available via the mXrap platform for industry to collect and track data which can be modelled and applied to their ground support strategies.
Expected benefits include improved safety outcomes from reduced risk of rockburst, as well as reduced costs associated with ground support which can account for 30-40% of development mining costs.
To find out more about the newly available tools and guidelines, read MRIWA report 497 https://www.mriwa.wa.gov.au/research-projects/project-portfolio/ground-support-systems-optimisation-phase-2/ summarising the findings of this research.
Page was last reviewed 12 December 2022