Researchers get buzz from 'Honeycomb' underground mining

By Bizclik Editor
This method could significantly reduce effective stresses in rock mass and cut accident rates...

Scientists from the Research Center for Applied Geomechanics and Convergent Mining Technologies at the NUST MISIS Mining College have proposed a new solution for the key mining challenges associated with safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness - creating sustainable 'honeycomb' mine structures underground. 

This technology is a part of the innovative nature-like (convergent) and functional subsoil development, which allows a major reduction in the volume of waste rock storage on the Earth's surface, and enables a scale-down in the rate of industrial accidents and injuries of mine personnel. Up to 400 billion tons of waste rock - often more than the volume of extracted minerals - is taken from the subsoil to be stored on the earth's surface annually.

It avoids large-scale blasting and enables ore to be extracted from vertical 'pipes' drilled underground. The created system of drill holes is a very stable mine structure, similar to the structure of a porous human bone bearing load. The system allows reducing the loss of minerals left in pillars during mining from 50-60 percent to 15-25 percent. It is also convenient to store mining waste in these mined-out voids without lifting it to the surface.

This method of mining significantly reduces effective stresses in rock mass, minimising the risk of rockburst and unpredictable strains and displacements in rocks. As a result, the number of accidents in mines can be reduced. Thanks to the new technology the large-scale waste rock dumps formed during development of the lithosphere may become a thing of the past. The mines applying this technology will reduce waste storage on the surface by 100 percent.

The project, supported by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation, is currently at the basic research stage. Lab tests of physical models of any complexity mine structures are made with 3D modeling methods, creating and validating standard versions of other convergent geotechnologies for underground mining of mineral deposits of any geological types.

Share

Featured Articles

GEM: Non-China Coal Power Sees First Growth Since 2019

Global Energy Monitor 2024 global coal Tracker shows less coal-power capacity was retired in 2023 than for a decade but that trend will be 'short lived'

Biden Ruling 'Threat to US Critical Minerals Mining'

The Essential Minerals Association says Biden's Public Lands Rule is threat to critical minerals mining industry and compromises move to clean energy

Thermo Fisher Scientific Tackling Lithium eco Issue

Thermo Fisher Scientific's Dan Shine, on how the company's sodium battery tech can help reduce the mining of critical minerals like lithium for EVs

EC on Importance of Minerals Security Partnership Forum

Sustainability

EU & US form Critical Minerals Security Partnership Forum

Sustainability

World Gold Council: Gold Miners 'Must Create ESG Value'

Sustainability