Computational and Experimental Investigation of Cave Characteristic Curves in a Block Caving Mine


Purushotham Tukkaraja, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Block caving is one of the most economical and efficient underground mining methods that is gaining popularity around the world especially for extracting low grade and massive orebodies. However, during the extraction of ore from the draw bells, gases trapped inside the cave could emit into the working areas. Ventilation is considered to be the cheapest and best method for controlling pollutant concentrations in underground environment. To design an effective ventilation system for a block caving mine, it is necessary to develop cave characteristic curves. This study uses a 1:100 scale physical model with an exhausted fan system and a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of a block cave to investigate the airflow behavior through the cave filled with broken rock. It was observed that cave airflow resistance increases with the decrease in cave porosity and the particle size.