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Rock mass transportation systems in underground mines: consequences and solutions when mining at greater depths
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7334-4934
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The research presented in this thesis addresses a number of challenges related to rock mass transportation in deep underground mines. In particular, high energy consumption and high exhaust gas emissions from diesel and electric LHDs, the effects of ore pass loss on the loading, hauling and dumping operations due to increasing stresses and increasing costs due to the longer vertical transportation of the rock masses. These critical challenges have been identified by a literature review and analysis of data collected from 15 international deep mines. In order to answer the formulated research questions, three studies on various issues related to rock mass transportation in deep underground mines were made, and the analysis was performed mainly using discrete event simulation.

The thesis presents a study of energy consumption and exhaust gas emissions from diesel and electric LHDs with similar bucket sizes. The results show the possible energy savings and a decrease in CO2 emissions when using electric LHDs instead of diesel ones. The thesis also presents a study of the effects of ore pass loss on LHD operations and on the mine production. Maintaining the production with a lower number of operational ore pass structures by increasing the number of LHDs can have a negative effect on the production. This is because an increased number of LHDs in operation will results in increased waiting times for the LHDs and cause variations in the production rate. These variations can be large, causing severe consequences if not managed correctly. The results also show the importance of developing alternative plans for underground loading and hauling operations in case of an ore pass loss. Transportation of rock, especially when mining depth increases, is often associated with high costs and long transportation times. To decrease the amount of unnecessary rock transportation, near-to-face sorting plants may be one alternative. In the thesis, a study was performed on a possible reduction in rock mass transportation to the surface when using this technique. The results conclude that near-to-face sorting plants could lower the environmental effects generated by unnecessary rock transportation to the surface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2017.
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
National Category
Civil Engineering
Research subject
Mining and Rock Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-63089ISBN: 978-91-7583-886-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-887-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-63089DiVA, id: diva2:1089460
Presentation
2017-05-29, F1031, Luleå, 10:00
Available from: 2017-04-21 Created: 2017-04-19 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Analyzing energy consumption and gas emissions of loading equipment in underground mining
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Analyzing energy consumption and gas emissions of loading equipment in underground mining
2015 (English)In: CIM Journal, ISSN 1923-6026, Vol. 6, no 4, p. 179-188Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In an environment of rising energy prices and mining at greater depths, cost-efficient loading and hauling equipment is essential. Conducted at an underground mining operation, this study analyzes the energy consumption and gas emissions of diesel and electric load-haul-dump machines (LHDs) with similar bucket capacities. Based on energy prices from the first quarter of 2014, results of discrete event simulation show that energy costs for diesel and electric LHDs are US$0.24/t and US$0.07/t, respectively. Also, diesel LHDs emit 2.68 kg CO2 per litre of diesel fuel, whereas using electric machines reduces the need for ventilation to mitigate engine heat and emissions and reduces energy costs.

National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Mining and Rock Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-15252 (URN)10.15834/cimj.2015.24 (DOI)ebfbfc7e-7ebf-4eae-8ca1-67316147c07b (Local ID)ebfbfc7e-7ebf-4eae-8ca1-67316147c07b (Archive number)ebfbfc7e-7ebf-4eae-8ca1-67316147c07b (OAI)
Note

Godkänd; 2015; 20141021 (abusal)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved
2. The effects of ore pass loss on loading, hauling and dumping operations and production rates in sublevel caving mine.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effects of ore pass loss on loading, hauling and dumping operations and production rates in sublevel caving mine.
(English)In: Journal of Southern African Institute of Mining and MetallurgyArticle in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Ore pass failure is a well-known problem for deep mines and the risk of losing an ore pass is associated with severe production disturbances. In the near future, one possible scenario in the Loussavaara Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB) Malmberget mine is to concentrate the mining operation to fewer but larger production areas. Left with fewer, but larger, production areas to operate, densification of work will increase, leading to increased use of the pre-existing ore pass structures. Further, additional high stresses due to depth increase the risk for structural failure of the ore passes. Consequently, the mine may face a dilemma of either improving the current loading and hauling operations or using alternative transportation systems. Analysis of the critical causes that are responsible for major disturbances in the flow, speed and safety of the desired mine production are essential and an important basis for decision making regarding alternative transportation systems. This paper analyses and evaluates the effects of ore pass loss on loading, hauling and dumping operations and production rates using discrete event simulation, by simulating part of the Malmberget mine loading and hauling system under different environmental and operational constraints. The results show that in the case of ore pass loss, it is possible to obtain desired production rates by using the Malmberget’s existing transportation system and varying the LHD (Load-Haul-Dump machine) fleet size. However, if too many ore passes are lost, the delays created in production would result in operation disturbances for the LHDs. A possible solution is to redirect the fleet to different production areas or to construct an additional entry to ore pass location that will allow accommodating more than one LHD in the dumping area. If left with no ore passes to operate, the mine would have to change the method of transporting the ore and use alternative transportation systems such as trucking.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-63087 (URN)
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2017-04-19 Created: 2017-04-19 Last updated: 2017-04-19
3. Evaluation of near to face sorting plant in an underground mine: A case study from Kristineberg mine
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of near to face sorting plant in an underground mine: A case study from Kristineberg mine
2016 (English)In: 2016 SME Annual Conference and Expo: The Future for Mining in a Data-Driven World, Phoenix, United States, 21 - 24 February 2016, New York: Society for Mining, Metalurgy and Exploration, 2016, p. 379-383Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Mining of ore bodies that are located at great depths enforces long distances to move the excavated rock masses to the surface. The excavated rock mass contains not only ore that can be economically extracted from the face but also waste, which is usually discarded several steps further downstream in the process. As a result large amount of rock masses are transported to the surface, influencing the costs at which the ore is produced. Reducing the amount of waste being transported to the surface by introducing near to face sorting plant would improve the in many cases strained transport system in the deep mine. In this study, one of Boliden’s cut and fill mines was analysed with respect to the challenges related to mass movement and increasing mining depth. The study aims to evaluate the use of the new near to face sorting system in the operating underground mine. Discrete event simulation was used to study and analyse the mass movement with and without the near to face sorting plant. The paper shows how the underground mass movement system and the production were influenced when a near to face sorting equipment was added into the current system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Society for Mining, Metalurgy and Exploration, 2016
Keywords
Deep underground mining, Cut and fill mining, Transportation system, Near to face sorting, Discrete Event Simulation, Civil engineering and architecture - Geoengineering and mining engineering, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik och arkitektur - Geoteknik och gruvteknik
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Research subject
Mining and Rock Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-28116 (URN)2-s2.0-84988353587 (Scopus ID)1caff48e-9d53-4601-81a1-16e959f205c4 (Local ID)9781510825659 (ISBN)1caff48e-9d53-4601-81a1-16e959f205c4 (Archive number)1caff48e-9d53-4601-81a1-16e959f205c4 (OAI)
Conference
SME Annual Conference & Expo : 21/02/2016 - 24/02/2016
Projects
Innovative Technologies and Concepts for the Intelligent Deep Mine of the Future
Note

Godkänd; 2016; 20151013 (barska)

Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved

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