Ground Support used in Ontario mines

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 949, 1991

R.J. Barclay, and M.P. Kat, Ontario Ministry of Labour, Sudbury, Ontario

In 1984, a provincial inquiry into ground control and emergency preparedness in Ontario mines was commissioned by the Minister of Labour for Ontario. One of the recommendations put forth by the committee conducting this inquiry was that the Ontario mining regulations be modified to address more effectively the assessment of mine design. Mining regulations now require that every mine in the province annually assess its design with respect to ground stability. Subsequently, the Ministry of Labour has embarked on a ground control audit program to gather as much information as possible about the ground control programs in place at Ontario mines. In 1988, 47 underground mines were audited. The audits are intended to provide an overview of the level of engineering effort that is devoted to ground control on a provincial basis, by identifying the type of geotechnical information that is collected by each mine and how this information is used for stability analysis purposes in rationalizing excavation and support system designs. Also, the audits serve as an indicator of the severity of ground stability problems at individual mines, and how these problems are dealt with. This paper consists of information that has been extracted from the first series of ground control audits that were conducted in 1988. Specifically, the paper describes the types of support systems that are used in Ontario mines. It also discusses the rationale for local ground support selection, and the quality control programs that are in place for assessing the performance of installed ground support. As well, the type of geotechnical information that is collected, and to what extent it is used for the purpose of designing ground support systems, is reviewed.
Keywords: Rock mechanics, Ground control audits, Ontario mines, Safety.