Stress Mechanism at the Mindola Mine, Zambia, Africa

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 799, 1978

M. L. Jeremic, Associate Profesor of Mining, Department of Mineral Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alta.

The design of the long-hole sublevel mining method was originally based on the traditional assumption that the principal load was due to the weight of the overlying rock, and that the horizontal stresses are equal to one-third of the vertical stress. However, as mining progressed, the virgin lateral stress was found to be equal to or greater than the vertical stress.The virgin stress in the rock mass is not uniform throughout the folded orebody and adjacent strata. From detailed investigations, three basic patterns of virgin stress in ore panels have been inferred: uniform, bent and twisted. Stresses induced by sloping are up to three times greater than original stresses in the rock mass; they cause heavy ground conditions and make extraction of ore difficult.In the last ten years, the original mining system has been modified several times in order to destress the ground and improve the extraction of ore.
Keywords: Rock mechanics, Stress mechanisms, Mindola Mine, Zambia, Longhole mining, Sloping, Caving, Pillars, Backfilling.