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Cut-and-Fill stoping

Presentation April 2014


DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2684.5048

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Hassan Z. Harraz
Tanta University
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Topic 6: Underground Mining Methods
Cut-and-Fill stoping

Hassan Z. Harraz

hharraz2006@yahoo.com
2014- 2015

This material is intended for use in lectures, presentations and as


handouts to students, and is provided in Power point format so as to
allow customization for the individual needs of course instructors.
Permission of the author and publisher is required for any other usage.
Please see hharraz2006@yahoo.com for contact details.
Outline of Topic 6:
Introduction
Application of Cut-and-Fill (C & F) stoping
The activity cycle of the (C & F) method
Stages of the production cycle of the C & F method
Sequences of extracting ore bodies
Filling in C & F Method
About filling of stopes
Functions of filler
Types of fillers
Advantages and disadvantages of the C & F method

We will explore all of the above in Topic 6.

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 2


Cut & Fill stoping
Introduction
Method in which ore is removed at horizontal slices generally upwards. The ore is
drilled, blown up and removed from the stope. The resulting empty after the ore to be
removed, is filled with a filler ("backfill"). The filler serves as a support for the sides of the
stope, and as a platform for the devices when the next slice is mined.
It is a recommended method, for example, where iron ore and / or waste are slightly
relevant, which restricts the size of underground excavations and allows little time between
the removal and the deposition of the mineral filler.

3
Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation Cut & Fill stoping
Introduction
It is one of the more popular methods used for vein deposits and has recently grown in use.
It is an expensive but selective mining method, with low ore loss and dilution.[3] (i.e., allows selective mining
and avoid mining of waste or low grade ore).
Is relatively expensive and therefore is done only in high grade mineralization (Because the method involves
moving fill material as well as a significant amount of drilling and blasting).
It is a method of shorthole mining used in steeply dipping or It is preferred for orebodies with irregular ore
zones and scattered mineralization.
It requires working at face (which is less safe than longhole stoping).
It is used:-
in mining steeply dipping orebodies in stable rock masses (primarily in steeply dipping metal
deposits),
in strata with good to moderate stability, and comparatively high grade mineralization.
either fill option may be consolidated with concrete, or left unconsolidated.
Generally uses no cement
Bottom up mining method: Remove ore in horizontal slices, starting from a bottom undercut and
advancing upward.
Moderate production rates.
Good resource usage.
Not stress friendly.
Moderate ground support
Ore is drilled, blasted and removed from stope.
The ore is mined in slices: As each horizontal or slightly inclined slice is taken, the voids (Opens) are
backfilled with a variety of fill types to support the walls (i.e., the fill can be rock waste, tailings, cemented
tailings, or other suitable materials).
{(note: The fill serves both to support the stope walls and provide a working platform for equipment
when the next slice is mined)}.
Introduction
Ore is drilled, blasted and
removed from stope

Remove ore in horizontal slices, starting


from a bottom undercut and advancing
upward.
As each horizontal slice is taken, the
voids (Opens) are filled with a variety of
fill types to support the walls. (i.e., the fill Figure showing cut and fill mining method.
can be rock waste, tailings, cemented
tailings, or other suitable materials).
Introduction
Because the method involves moving fill material as well as a significant amount of drilling and
blasting, it is relatively expensive and therefore is done only in high grade mineralization where
there is a need to be selective and avoid mining of waste or low grade ore.
It is practiced both in the overhand (upward) and in the underhand (downward) directions.
i) Overhand (upward) cut and fill
o is applied to ore lies underneath the working area and the roof is backfill.
o involves a work area of cemented backfill while mining ore from the roof.
ii) Underhand (Downward) cut and fill ore
o is applied to ore lies beneath the working area and the roof is cemented backfill.
o ore overlies the working area and the machines work on backfill.

Note:
Drift and Fill is similar to cut and
fill, except it is used in ore zones which
are wider than the method of drifting will
allow to be mined. In this case the first
drift is developed in the ore, and is
backfilled using consolidated fill. The
second drift is driven adjacent to the first
drift. This carries on until the ore zone is
mined out to its full width, at which time
the second cut is started atop of the first
cut.
Application of Cut-and-Fill (C & F) stoping

The C & F method is required when:


Ore Zones are irregular in shape and orientation.
Ore Is high grade and dilution control is critical.
The Need contacts between ore and waste are structurally critical
but not readily visible.
The Waste rock is weak.
Ore Zones are large, but Their rock quality is weak.
Localized Underground stability is required.
Surface Disturbance must be minimized.
The Value of the ore makes recovery of economically viable
support pillars.
The Reduction of surface waste storage is important.
The Need exists to advance the working platform for the upward
mining of the ore body.

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 7


Cut & Fill stoping
The C & F method
In mining C & F generally upward (overhand)
advances; there is a least common variant -
C & F underhand - where the feed is from the
top down.

C & F advancing
bottom up

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 8


Cut & Fill stoping
overhand C & F

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 9


Cut & Fill stoping
The activity cycle of the C & F method involves the
following steps:
a) drill-blast of a horizontal slice of ore, typically with
three or four feet thick, removed the roof of the
stope;
b) loading and transport of ore, mechanically removed
from the stope for orepass, and then to a lower
horizon of transportation;
c) removal of loose fragments ("cuttlefish") by the
detonation and placement support / reinforcement
ceiling;
d) filling the floor of the stope (backfilling) with a layer
of composite material varied and equal in thickness
ore disassembled ceiling.

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 10


Cut & Fill stoping
Stages of the production cycle of the C & F method :

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 11


Cut & Fill stoping
The workers perform all the activities of the production
cycle in the newly opened roof of stope. So, for the
method to be successful, one must control the behavior
of the rock on the outskirts of the stope. This is done in
several ways: by controlling the dismantling of the roof,
using reinforcement / support for openings and using
the stope backfill.

Use of roof
bolts in C & F

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 12


Cut & Fill stoping
Control ceiling by cable bolts :

Sequence of use :

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 13


Cut & Fill stoping
C & F method is versatile (there are
different configurations of extraction)
applied to bodies of different
geometries (shafts, inclined tabular or
massive deposits) can be divided into
separated by vertical pillars and
horizontal blocks.

Horizontal Pillar (i.e, Floor


pillar) separating stopes

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 14


Cut & Fill stoping
Sequences of extracting ore bodies ...
View topic in 3.4.2 : Underground Mining Methods: engineering fundamentals
and international case studies. W.Hustrulid, R.Bullock, SME, 2001.

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 15


Cut & Fill stoping
C & F with overhand stopes separated by vertical pillars,
in this case made with backfill:

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 16


Cut & Fill stoping
C & F overhand with ramp and stope access
orepass located in the footwall:

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 17


Cut & Fill stoping
The method applies to deposits with dipping 35o to 90o, in
deep or shallow bodies. Stopes may have a width
ranging from 4 to 40 m. The filler allows to work in the
presence of enclosing a low resistance. The ore should,
however, have moderate resistance to high.

Thick body
being mined in
plan and in
section

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 18


Cut & Fill stoping
Different geometries of
openings in thick ore
bodies (seen in
section).

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 19


Cut & Fill stoping
Narrow body being mined: plan view (left) And
section (right).

Fig 1

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 20


Cut & Fill stoping
The C & F is a laborious method, requiring high value for the in situ ore. Some dilution
is expected, which occurs when the backfill is loaded with ore in the stope (usually
done by loading LHD's). Moreover, the method provides selectivity and flexibility,
allowing good control of ore contents and disposal in the stope, sterile material.
Also allows to follow irregular bodies during mining, due to the high degree of
selectivity of the drill-blast sequence

There are several benefits from an environmental standpoint, using the backfill. The
integrity of the host rocks allows less affect the hydrogeology of the mined area.
The possibility of subsidence at the surface is quite limited. Reduce the tailings
storage areas on the surface because they can be taken back to the stopes, as
backfill

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 21


Cut & Fill stoping
Variant of the C & F: Avoca method

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 22


Cut & Fill stoping
Filling in C & F Method
About filling of stopes:
filling is done during the production cycle (and not after complete
evacuation of the stope, as in SLS);
Hydraulic filling (water and sand particle size = hydraulic sand-fill) is the
most common, containing 60 to 70% solids and requiring deposition
techniques and special drain;
the filling with hydraulic sand-fill, the distribution for the stopes is done
by piping;
The stope is filled almost to the ceiling height;
backfill needs to be the strongest, is added to the cement mixture;
When the water is drained, a good base for moving mining equipment
while it is formed in the upper slice stope;
the backfill, traffic person is prevented for a few hours and the vehicle for
several days.

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 23


Cut & Fill stoping
Filler Models

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 24


Cut & Fill stoping
Filling

Functions of filler:
-preserve access to the stope;
avoid dilution of ore;
avoid subsidence on the surface;
serve as a working platform for workers in
mining the next horizontal slice;

The time of placing the backfill is critical because it


must take the original load was exerted on the ore.

Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 25


Cut & Fill stoping
Types of fillers

Additional information on "backfill": read articles


Underground Mining Methods: engineering fundamentals and international
case studies. W.Hustrulid, R.Bullock, SME, 2001, cap. 69.
Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 26
Cut & Fill stoping
Types of fillers

1) Hydraulic fill (also


called slurry or sand fill)

2) Paste fill

3) Rock Fill
Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 27
Cut & Fill stoping
Advantages of the method
It is a versatile method and can be adapted to the ore bodies from
any geometrical shape
Investments are moderated to implement the method
minimizes subsidence
High recovery and low dilution (selective method)
Waste can be taken to the basement, avoiding surface
contamination
Disadvantages
Due to the high cost of mining, is only applicable in ores
of high value;
Requires hand labour intensive and more specialized;
The activity of filling complicates the production cycle,
causing reduction in production;
There are risks of instability in mass if the backfill is not
properly sized and applied.
Prof. Dr. H.Z. Harraz Presentation 28
Cut & Fill stoping
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