26th International Ground Control Conference in Mining 2007
Authors: Francis S. Kendorski (AAI)
The mining engineering design professional has limited practical and reliable tools for planning successful room-and-pillar stone mines using readily-available and collectible information. Three techniques are in common use today: the hard rock CANMET method of Hedley and Grant, the hard rock method of Stacey and Page, and the oil shale method of Hardy and Agapito. Other methods have been proposed, such as the USBM method of Obert and Duvall, the CSIR/Penn State method of Bieniawski, and the soft rock confined core method of Abel, Wilson, and Ashwin. However, the latter have practical shortcomings when applied to room-and-pillar stone mines such as developed for construction aggregate production. Ideally, the use of multiple techniques resulting in the same acceptable and reliable answer is the goal. Recently, in several underground stone mines areas of undersized pillars were examined. These undersized pillars apparently resulted from non-adherence to a mine plan. These undersized pillars now exhibit strong evidence of incipient failure such as slabbing, opening of through-going fractures, and hour-glassing. This situation allows examination of pillar designs at a “safety factor” of essentially one. This rare opportunity allowed the examination of the suitability and adjustment of the first three design methods discussed, resulting in greater overall confidence in the methodologies.
Downloadable PDF: Towards an Improved Stone Mine Pillar Design Methodology – Observations from a Mistake