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Discrete Element Modelling of Footwall Rock Mass Damage Induced by Sub-Level Caving at the Kiirunavaara Mine
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4189-945X
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
2017 (English)In: Minerals, ISSN 2075-163X, E-ISSN 2075-163X, Vol. 7, no 7, 109Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Kiirunavaara mine is one of the largest sub-level-caving (SLC) mines in the worldand has been in underground operation for more than 50 years. The mine has been the focus ofseveral case studies over the years. The previous works have either focused on the caving of thehanging wall, using the footwall as a passive support, or focused on the footwall using the hangingwall to apply a passive load. In this updated study the findings of the previous case studies arecombined to study the interaction between the caving hanging wall, the developing cave rock zoneand the footwall. The geological data for the rock types in the mine area are used to derive upperand lower limits for the geomechanical parameters calibrated for numerical models in the previousstudies. The calibrated parameters are used as inputs to a numerical model constructed usingItasca’s Particle-flow-code (PFC) encompassing a mine-scale 2D section at the mid portion of themine. The model captures the failure locations well in the footwall underground and indicatesdamage development without a coherent large-scale failure. The trend in subsidence data on thehanging wall is adequately simulated but the magnitude of deformation is underestimated. Theinput strength for the hanging wall was lowered to study the impact of hanging wall strength onfootwall damage development. It is shown that when the footwall strength is kept constant, whilelowering the hanging wall strength, the extent of damage and magnitude of displacements in thefootwall increases. From these observations it is argued that the hanging wall and footwall cannotbe studied independently for the Kiirunavaara mine since the cave rock zone significantly affectsthe damage development in both walls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI , 2017. Vol. 7, no 7, 109
National Category
Mineral and Mine Engineering Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Mining and Rock Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-64484DOI: 10.3390/min7070109OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-64484DiVA: diva2:1114912
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 2;2017-07-06 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2017-07-06Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textMinerals 2017, 7(7), 109

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