Face to Surface: a fragmentation study
2016 (English)Report (Refereed)
As ore grades have decreased and the mining depth has increased over the past few decades, other characteristics than ore grade and tonnage are becoming important. The underground mining process, from in-situ rock mass characteristics to the final mill product with fully liberated minerals, consists of a chain of unit operations that impact, and are influenced by, fragmentation. This report presents the baseline mapping of the project “From Face to Surface”, studying the effects of fragmentation on the process flow in an underground SLC mine. It analyses the underground unit operations in detail, from mine planning to shafts, and maps the blast fragmentation’s effect on the process flow. The goal is to provide a deeper understanding of fragmentation´s effect on different unit operations. The objective is to describe the mining operation at Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) and identify key areas for improving fragmentation. To understand how fragmentation influences different operations in the mine, the project conducted a literature study, collected data and interviewed mine personnel in LKAB’s Malmberget mine. Data were collected from the mine’s internal systems, such as GIRON, WOLIS, IP21 and a local drilling data system. The interviews were conducted in cooperation with research personnel from the mine.This baseline mapping shows that the mining operation in Malmberget is affected by fragmentation in several ways. For some unit operations, the fragmentation has a large impact, while for others, it has none at all. The influence of fragmentation starts with the loading operation after the initial blasting and ends with the crushing operation. For the former, boulders are the largest problem, as they cause a great deal of idle time, either when they have to be moved to a separate drift for secondary blasting or when they create hang-ups in the ore passes. When boulders are dumped into the ore passes, they risk damaging the ore pass walls. If boulders create a hang-up, it has to be removed. If the hang-up must be removed with explosives, there is a risk of further damaging the ore pass. In addition, the toxic fumes created by the explosives hinder production until the pass is ventilated. Finally, hang-ups affect the transportation operation as the trucks cannot use an ore pass blocked by a hang-up or closed for ventilation of toxic fumes. There is also a slight possibility that a boulder which does not get stuck in the ore pass will get stuck on a truck. The last operation affected by fragmentation is crushing; boulders and large fragments risk creating a hang-up in the crusher. There are no reports of problems related to fragmentation after this point.The results suggest that further work and mine trials are required in the following areas: drilling, loading, ore passes and crushers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå, 2016. , 89 p.
Research report / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1528
Research subject Mining and Rock Engineering
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-23034Local ID: 55851155-dd15-40b2-b822-3cf27bde0169ISBN: 978-91-7583-644-7 (PDF)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-23034DiVA: diva2:996083
Godkänd; 2016; 20160607 (anngus)2016-09-292016-09-29Bibliographically approved