The supply of mineral and metal products will continue to play a vital role in meeting society’s needs. To satisfy the demand, it will be necessary to find ways to safely mine deeper since shallow mineral deposits are becoming depleted. Innovative technologies will help to make the deeper lying deposits more economically viable, by combatting the higher extraction costs and addressing the complexities involved in mining at great depth, such as ground instability.
Addressing ground instability
Ground stresses and seismic events have the potential to cause extensive damage to mines, which can affect mine production and threaten the safety of the underground workers. In underground mines, ground support elements such as rock bolts, mesh or screen, and shotcrete (projected concrete) are used to hold the rock in place to maintain the integrity of the openings.
CanmetMINING houses unique testing facilities to assess the stress levels in the rock mass, as well as the ability of ground support elements to withstand sudden rock mass failures. CanmetMINING is also active in research and development on innovative ground support techniques such as instrumented rock bolts capable of transmitting real-time data, which could prevent ground support failures by alerting mine engineering personnel on surface.