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Predominant failure mechanisms at the Kiirunavaara mine footwall
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Predominant failure mechanisms at the Kiirunavaara mine footwall (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB) Kiirunavaara mine is a large scale sub-level caving (SLC) mine in northern Sweden. The use of SLC as a mining method inherently causes significant rock mass movements above the extraction level. It has been one of the objectives of LKAB since the early 1990s to accurately forecast the global stability of the footwall in relation to the inherent rock mass movements from the sub-level caving. In the Kiirunavaara case, the dip of the main ore-body entails the footwall to develop as a rockslope confined by cave material from the hangingwall. It has been discussed that the global stability of the footwall is likely related to the interaction of two or more failure mechanisms acting in combination, however, the true footwall failuremechanisms are still debated. The objective of this thesis is to study and evaluate the footwall behaviour and determine the predominant mechanisms by combining data from field observations, numerical modelling and seismic data analysis. Field data was collected through damage mapping on decommissioned levels in the footwall on depths between 120 to 700 m for the full 4 km ore-body length. From the mapping data a conceptual boundary between damaged and undamaged footwall rock was established in the form of a damage boundary surface. The 3D geometry of the damage surface was analysed and a section was extracted and used in calibrating numerical models for simulatingthe footwall behaviour in response to mining. A parametric study was performed to highlight high impact inputs and study plausible origins of the conceptual damage surface. A base case model was adopted to explain the failure evolution and used in the analysis of seismic data. The seismic data was analysed with respect to origin mechanisms as well as temporal and spatial location patterns. The outline of the large scale footwall fracturing interpreted from the conceptual damage surface was geometrically complex. No single principal failure modes could be identified from evaluating the 3D geometry favouring the initial assumption of multiple mechanism interactions. In addition, the mapping data itself indicated changes in failure mode with respect to depth. On higher levels structurally controlled damages were predominant while general rock mass failures became common on lower levels. The parametric study related thehighest influence on plastic response to the internal cohesion followed by internal friction angle. This was interpreted for the base case as the rock mass being more sensitive to shear failures in favour of tensile failures. This indication was further strengthened by the evaluation of the seismic data. The origin analysis of the seismic events pointed to a significant dominance of shear origin events clustered in active fracturing volume indicated by the base case numerical analysis. By combining field observations, numerical modelling and seismic analysis a plausible description of the large scale footwall fracturing could be provided. The structurally controlled failures in the upper and mid portion of the footwall are reactions to active failure on deeper lying levels. Active fracturing of the footwall rock mass occurs based on the numerical and seismic results on levels on and underneath the current mining level. On the levels where active fracturing takes place the rock mass is confined by the support pressurefrom the un-mined ore-body. As mining progresses deeper the confinement is lowered as the ore is replaced by low stiffness cave rock. Due to the loss of support pressure the rock mass expands towards the sub-level cave and the induced weaknesses are activated and manifested as drift damage during rock mass mobilisation. The numerical models showed that the mobilised rock mass above the mining level exhibits the displacement pattern of a potential curved shear failure. This failure path intersects both the footwall slope face and thestructures from the upper footwall and thus enables these structures to shear.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå tekniska universitet, 2015.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Research subject
Mining and Rock Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-18459Local ID: 8b8661b3-b13c-486e-ba16-feea5d3d0221ISBN: 978-91-7583-236-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-237-1 (electronic)OAI: diva2:991468
Godkänd; 2015; 20150119 (miknil); Nedanstående person kommer att hålla licentiatseminarium för avläggande av teknologie licentiatexamen. Namn: Mikael Svartsjaern Ämne: Gruv- och Berganläggningsteknik/Mining and Rock Engineering Uppsats: Predominant Failure Mechanisms at the Kiirunavaara Mine Footwall Examinator: Bitr Professor David Saiang, Institutionen för samhällsbyggnad och naturresurser Luleå tekniska universitet Diskutant: PhD Diego Mars Ivars, Itasca Consulting Sweden AB, Kista Tid: Fredag den 27 mars 2015 kl 10.00 Plats: A1545, Luleå tekniska universitetAvailable from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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