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RockMine:  Rock Mechanics Technology in Mining

Wits-SRK link boosts rock engineering skills
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Collaboration between Wits University’s School of Mining Engineering and consulting engineers SRK Consulting is nurturing scarce rock engineering expertise, benefiting the mining and other sectors in Africa and beyond. read more »
Bingham Canyon Mine Slope Failure
Friday, April 12, 2013
A massive slope failure has occurred at the open pit of the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. Nobody was hurt: the mine had been monitoring movement and when deformation increased from 1 mm a day to 5 mms day they pulled out all workers. read more »
On seismic signals from landslides – new research
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
See a massive rock avalanche in action somewhere up in Alps and learn how to read seismic recordings to be able to detect this kind of events. read more »
Raise boring machines
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Raise boring, as a technique or system of driving raises (vertical or near vertical holes) continues to gain in popularity due to its many important advantages over conventional methods. read more »
Underhand Cut and Fill Mining in the U.S.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Underhand cut and fill mining methods are used at the Lucky Friday, Stillwater, and Galena mines in the western US in an effort to safely mine in difficult ground conditions and as a primary mining method where access below the ore is limited. read more »
Water problems associated with undersea coal mining
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Coal mining under the sea has been carried out in many different parts of the world. The first consideration associated with undersea mining or for that matter under bodies of water or under sub-surface aquifers, is to ... read more »
California Earthquake Fault Zone Maps
Thursday, February 10, 2011
The index map identifies all Official Maps of Earthquake Fault Zones delineated by the California Geological Survey through December 2010 under the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act. Individual Earthquake Fault Zone Maps can be viewed on screen. Digital image files (pdf) and Geographic Information System files (GIS) of individual maps can be downloaded by selecting a specific quadrangle map. read more »
Cave Breccias and Archaeological Sites
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Generally, deposition of allochthanous material in caves follows that for most stratified surface deposits; that is, the deposits are locally younging upwards and they tend to be horizontally bedded, and deposits frequently show fining-upwards following stream floods. Many bone breccias may show distinct layering but rock breccias in caves may not conform to such a simple regime. read more »
Pre-mechanized longwall mining of coal
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
Miners were able to remove almost all the coal from a section, either by leaving small remnant pillars or building packs to hold the roof in place, while that coal was removed. By retreating the face back towards the shafts, the overlying roof rock was then allowed to collapse into the void left by the coal removal.  read more »
Closure of Remote Historic Underground Mines in Desert Environments
Monday, July 05, 2010
Geotechnical solutions were developed for closure of two historic underground borate mines in the deserts of California: the old Borate Mine located in the Mojave Desert and the Lila C. Mine near Death Valley. read more »
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
When water from rainfall moves down through the soil and encounters bedrock in karst terrain, the bedrock begins to dissolve along horizontal and vertical cracks and crevices in the rock. Eventually, these cracks and crevices ... read more »
June 2010 Geology and GSA Today highlights
Friday, May 28, 2010
Fossils, faulting, continent formation, river evolution, eolian sedimentation - the June Geology covers all this and more, with input from scientists around the world. Highlights include the first field evidence of neotectonic activity in the Hochschwab karst massif; in-situ sampling from the AlpTransit tunnel site; discovery in Mexico of the oldest known Bryozoan fossils; and fingerprinting of magmatic glasses and crystals to determine their "rock DNA." GSA Today examines microbial ecosystems in the Tibetan Plateau. read more »
Texas earthquakes may be linked to wells for gas mining
Thursday, March 11, 2010
"The earthquakes were right in our backyard, and quakes don't happen too often in Texas," says seismologist Brian Stump of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, senior author on a Leading Edge journal study. "We usually only get small ones." read more »
Deeper open pits
Monday, December 07, 2009
Surface mines are always seeking to extract more from their existing ore bodies by going deeper, or steeper, or both. Doug Minchin, Director, Rock Australia notes that as well as open pit mines getting larger and deeper, slope design is becoming more aggressive with concomitant high risk in size of failures and consequences. "Slope Failure, even a small rock fall threatens the safety of personnel, plant and equipment, productivity and potentially overall mine viability." read more »
Cutting down carbon dioxide emissions in India’s coal sector
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A recent study, commissioned by Christian Aid and written by researchers from the Universities of Surrey and Edinburgh, reveals the prospects for Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) technology in India. It examines whether CCS could be a suitable technology for cutting down India’s carbon dioxide emissions.  read more »
Canadian Study Scrutinizes Carbon Capture
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
In the face of mounting support for clean coal and the billions being invested in carbon capture and storage, or C.C.S., technology, a new assessment from the University of Toronto’s Munk Center for International Studies has a stern warning for policy-makers: there could be dramatic unintended environmental consequences to sequestering huge amounts of carbon dioxide in the earth's mantle. read more »
Burning coal deep down has huge potential, untested
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Burning coal underground could be one of the next breakthroughs to increase the world's energy supply, similar to establishment of Canadian oil sands, executives and academics told a conference in London on Monday.
 read more »
Monitoring faults could predict earthquakes: study
Thursday, October 02, 2009
Geologists working near California's San Andreas Fault have found a way to monitor the strength of a geologic fault — a finding which could be used to predict when a fault would fail and cause an earthquake. read more »
Coal-mining Hazard Resembles Explosive Volcanic Eruption, Study Shows
Friday, October 02, 2009
Worldwide, thousands of workers die every year from mining accidents, and instantaneous coal outbursts in underground mines are among the major killers. But although scientists have been investigating coal outbursts for more than 150 years, the precise mechanism is still unknown. read more »
To leach or not to leach?
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
In-situ leaching (ISL) or in-situ recovery was developed in the mid 1970s as a method for extracting uranium from typical roll-front type deposits located in water saturated permeable rocks that were not suitable for conventional mining. It was conceived independently in both the (former) USSR and the USA using similar approaches in engineering and technology. read more »
Cost breaking
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Fragmentation within the mine is often overlooked as a critical element in the process and can be used to provide essential process control information. SPLIT digital fragmentation technology has been available for some time, with applications from the mine with post-blast analysis at the muck pile face through to the mechanical comminution circuit with ... read more »
The road to Grasberg
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Until Bechtel built the first road in the early 1970s, and Freeport Indonesia subsequently developed the area, subrivers were the only access inland to the foothills of the Jayawijaya mountain range on Irian Jaya that hosts what is arguably the greatest ore complex discovered in the world to date, the Grasberg and Ertsberg copper gold deposits. read more »
CCS all about finding the ‘right rocks’
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The Coal Tech 2009 conference, held on September 15-16th, hosted a range of presentations on technologies including carbon capture and storage (CCS); coal-to-liquids; underground coal gasification; and syngas.  read more »
Frack Attack - Drilling Technique Under Scrutiny
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Four years after a widely used but controversial oil and gas production technology was exempted from federal regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Congress is taking another look at the process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. read more »
Walter Wittke
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sometime during completing my master thesis on fluid flow in fractured rock masses, I was sent by Professor Jennings to Karlsruhe University in Germany. There I met Professor Walter Wittke. read more »
Rock Mechanics Software
Friday, January 18, 2008
Here is a list of software and software providers that you may find useful in addressing rock mechanics situations at your mine. read more »
Backfill Thesis
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Trent Weatherwax, a Masters student at the University of British Columbia, sent me a copy of his paper, A Conceptual Design of a Backfill System for Underground Preconcentration Facility. read more »
Settle 3D by Rocscience
Friday, December 14, 2007
In the industrial area of Albuquerque is a large oil tank sitting on foundations I designed. One of the design issues was just how much the soft silty sand beneath the footing would settle. read more »
Hoek on Rock Mechanics
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Anybody interested or involved in rock mechanics will consult Dr. Evert Hoek of his publications. A good place to start is EduMine where you will find his course series on Practical Rock Engineering. read more »
FracMan - An Update
Monday, December 03, 2007
Fracman is a powerful way to model groundwater flow in mines where the flow is in the fractured bedrock. read more »
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
It seems so obvious: most mines involve cutting into rock, and rock is fractured. Therefore the stability and groundwater flow patterns of the mine opening, whether open pit or underground, will be controlled by the fractures. read more »