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Conference Proceedings

Underground Operators Conference Proceeding 2023

Conference Proceedings

Underground Operators Conference Proceeding 2023

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Reverse stoping using wireless initiation at CSA Mine

CSA Mine, named after the nationalities of the mines first owners being Cornish, Scottish, Australian, is one of Australia’s deepest and highest-grade copper mines. A combination of the modified Avoca method and shrinking was a standard practice where production rings were fired against and bogged to waste fill. This method resulted in dilution and involved rehandling of waste material to refill the bogged stopes in the Western region and the QTS Central. The introduction of pre-charging blastholes using a wireless initiating system (WebGen™) has enabled CSA to design and fire stopes in reverse. This involves the use of a pre-charged Temporary Rib Pillar (TRP) against the waste fill material in a previously mined stope. The temporary pillar reduces dilution and improves conventional bogging as material is blasted towards the drawpoint rather than towards the waste fill material. Additional drill, prep and blast re-work is reduced or completely removed as rings can be charged prior to, in conjunction with, or after, charging of the slot. This is a safer practice as the charge crew spend no time working adjacent to a brow or open void. A TRP trial was conducted in the western orebody at CSA. The risk of exposure to a brow or open void while charging underground, and the bogger rehandling of waste material was successfully eliminated. Once reverse stoping was established in modified avoca stopes at CSA, two TRPs were implemented in challenging ground conditions in the QTS Central region. The TRPs were utilised in a retreating four-way intersection to extract a central diminishing pillar to close the level out. The ore recovered in this stope provided 5 per cent of CSA’s copper for the year. Without pre-charging with a wireless initiating system, two 5 m pillars totalling 6936 t of ore at 7 per cent either side of the stope would not have been recovered. CSA has implemented the practice of reverse stoping in modified avoca stopes using TRP for ten stopes since the successful trial. The development of additional blasting techniques enabled by pre_x0002_charging with wireless initiating systems is currently underway in the QTS North orebody at CSA Mine.
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  • Published: 2023
  • Pages: 11
  • PDF Size: 1.301 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P-03014-V8S2P9

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