The Apex Mine:a case study in small scale underground mining

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 83, No. 942, 1990

R.W. Guill, Small Mine Development, St. George, Utah

The Apex Mine is currently scheduled to be brought back into production by Hecla in the first quarter of 1990. Its projected productivity rate will be exceptionally high for a small underhand cut and fill mine. The ore mined at the Apex Mine occurs within a pipe-like structure as a series of iron oxides containing both gallium and germanium, plus significant amounts of silver, zinc, lead, and copper. Ground conditions in and around the ore zone have dictated that unique approaches be utilized. To date, these have included a prototype O.Scu.yd diesel LHD, and the use of fibrous shotcrete in 4ft by 7ft headings, and the first pneumatically-placed cemented backfill in North America. Above all else, it is the combination of new technologies with a small and dedicated workforce which has allowed for the successful development of this ore body.
Keywords: Underground mining, Mine development.