Mining strategy for the Retreat Zone at Noranda’s Bell-Allard mine

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 97, No. 1079, 2004

V. Falmagne, G. Gagnon, D. Ouellet and B. Simser

The mining sequence at Noranda’s Bell-Allard mine calls for two mining fronts retreating toward a central pillar known as the Retreat Zone between pyramids A and C. It is clear from numerical modelling and rock mass characterization that the induced stress level in the pillar will exceed the rock mass capacity. A mining plan was developed including the re-dimensioning of stopes in the Retreat Zone, additional ground support and instrumentation in order to ensure the safety of the workforce and to maximize ore recovery while minimizing production delays. The mining strategy consists in allowing the rock mass to fracture and fail progressively while maintaining control of the existing openings with the appropriate support. A systematic analysis of rockbursting and caving hazards was conducted for all accesses and stopes in order to plan ground support and instrumentation needs.
Keywords: Retreat Zone, Bell-Allard mine, Mining strategy, Stope.