One of the better technical papers on the design of mine shafts is by Isadore Irvin Matunhire, previously of the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and now working for TWP Consulting. His paper Design of Mine Shafts covers the many aspects of mine shaft design.

He lists criteria for selecting shafts as follows:

Vertical Shaft:

  • Ore body should be steep dipping
  • Ideal for deep ore bodies
  • Provides quick access to ore body
  • Most economic hoisting method for depths exceeding 500m
  • Quicker return on capital investment

Decline or Inclined Shaft:

  • Flat dipping ore body
  • Shallow ore bodies
  • Require high throughput
  • Require low initial capital costs
  • Want to avoid some of the environmental concerns (headgear)

Another good reason to read his paper is the table listing the advantages and disadvantages of vertical versus decline versus inclined shafts. Take a look.

This paper and a number of others have just been added to the InfoMine library courtesy of Raj Singal. He gave us permission to choose and post our favorites from the CD of the proceedings of the conference he organized called Mine Planning and Equipment Selection, and Environmental Issues and Waste Management in Energy and Mineral Production for the 2007 conference held in Bangkok, Thailand. The full CD is available through the InfoMine eStore.