A methodology for rock mechanics feasibility studies

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 89, No. 998, 1996

Simon Nickson, Noranda Technology Centre, Pointe Claire, Quebec, Dave Ecobichon, Michel Leclerc, Hemlo Gold Mines Inc. — Holloway Joint Venture, and Éric Côté, Noranda Mines and Exploration Inc., Matagami Division

The feasibility assessment of a mineral deposit requires the construction of a geomechanical model of rock mass properties, for the purpose of preliminary mine design. The Noranda Technology Centre has been involved in the development of geomechanical models for several mineral deposits at the feasibility stage. Each model is constructed through intact rock testing, geotechnical core logging, geotechnical mapping and rock mass classification. Rock mechanics principles are used to develop conceptual stope designs and propose possible mining sequences. This methodology is applicable to both new mining projects and to the development of new areas within an operating mine. This paper explains how the geomechanical model is developed and reviews its application to several case studies.
Keywords: Rock mechanics, Feasibility studies, Geomechanical modelling.