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MIN3601/201/1/2017

Tutorial letter 201/1/2017

Mining III
MIN3601

Semesters 1

Department of Electrical and Mining Engineering

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
This tutorial letter contains important information
about your module.

Open Rubric
1 INTRODUCTION

Dear Learner,

The purpose of this tutorial letter is to provide you with additional questions and exercises that
could be used for self-evaluation purposes and examination preparation. Included, you will also
find feedback on the assignments.

You will find the questions on each of the five modules attached as follows:

Questions on module Attached as annexure Prescribed material


1 A Module 1 (Mining Layouts and Strategies) of the study guide
Chapters 2, 3 & 5 of the prescribed book (Jager & Ryder, 1999)
2 B Module 2 (Mining methods for Narrow Tabular Ore Bodies) of the study guide
3 C Module 3 of the study guide
4 D Module 4 of the study guide
5 E Module 5 of the study guide

Assignments 1 and 3 as well as a suggested solution are attached as annexures G,H,I and J.
I wish you success in the examination.
Regards,

Lucky Maseko
Lecturer: School of Engineering
Masekla@unisa.ac.za
(011) 471 3185

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2 ADDENDUM
ASSIGNMENT 03

Question 1 (Rock mechanics, mining layouts and support)

1.1 Describe/define Energy Release Rate (ERR) (2)

1.2.1 Shrinkage stoping


This method is also used to mine wide and massive ore bodies (see Module 1).
Dips in excess of 35-90, at which the rock packs can readily be cheaply and efficiently removed
from the stope faces through ore passes.
At shallow depths where rock pressures are not excessive and hangingwall does not settle too
rapidly.
When the depth approaches 1 500 m the early provision of adequate final support for the excavation
becomes important.
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1.2.2 Sequential grid
This is a controlled adaptation of scattered mining layouts to deep conditions and has great
potential. The basic idea in SMDP is to leave permanent dip-pillars in a scattered layout as
planned remnants, which act as coverload-carrying stabilizing pillars and which permit
significant advance exploration to be carried out.
The mining follows a planned sequence outward from the shaft pillar on a grid of consecutive
raise lines. The name sequential Grid Mining is used locally as a result; though an alternative
name could be Scattered Mining with Dip-Pillars (SMDP). The raise lines are 20m apart, and
30m wide strips of reef are left between the raises as dip stabilizing pillars.
Improved pre knowledge and hence control of potentially hazardous faults and dykes. The spacing or
orientation of the dip-pillars is not rigidly fixed, and so the need to mine through dykes and faults is greatly
reduced. Many of these features can be left intact with adequate bracketing, and made to form part of the
overall stabilizing pillar system. Pre-development allows accurate determination of the position and
orientation of faults and dykes, thus greatly facilitating the planning process and enabling the flexibility of
this mining method to be fully exploited (increased exploitation).
Any 3 relevant point (3 marks)

1.1.3 Resue mining


Mining of reef and waste separately
Cycles:
Waste blast and packing
Reef lifting/dropping and scraping/cleaning
Sweeping, support and drilling
Reef is either lifted or dropped after the waste has been mined.
Can be used when the stoping width is bigger than the reef width and when good partings exist
between the ore and the waste.
A better grade is sent to the mill. (3 marks)

1.3 Discuss strategies and options available when mining deeper than 4 200 m with
Reference to the following:

Shaft sinking sinking down to 4 000 m in one hit.


-4 000 m ropes winders that can accommodate this length of rope.
Winding big motors; sophisticated braking systems.

Shaft design faster equipping is required as well as low-maintenance, high-speed hoisting. Ground
support could lower the sinking rate
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Refrigeration and ventilation cooling requirements should be minimised. Enough cooling power
should be provided and distributed effectively.

Access development faster development is key here to reach the orebody quickly, alternative include:
Tunnel boring, Track-Bound Mechanised, Trackless Mechanized & Future (non explosive) methods

Stoping method sequential grid is favoured


Stope support total backfill

Seismic management: can be eliminated through partial extraction, avoiding mining through
structures, minimise seismic damage through backfill and appropriate stope and tunnel support,
prediction of seimicity

Prior geological knowledge: May be necessary to have a 3-D underground imaging to get a better view
of the orebody.

1.4
Surface topography
Spatial features
Zones of payable and unpayable ground
Tramming distances
Geological considerations
Suitability of ground for construction
[31]

Question 2 (Narrow tabular ore body mining, stope layouts)

2.1 REP Handbook p. 110


High stress: Pillar left on previously mined reef (1)
Low stress: Stope on previously mined reef not closed (1).
Tensile stress: Stoping taking place in tensile zone of previously mined reef (1)
Virgin stress: Complete closure on previously mined reef (1)

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2.2 When mining at intermediate to deep levels in gold mining it is necessary to take reasonable
precautions. There are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure that tunnels are properly
protected
2.2.1 Stress induced damage will occur at 900 to the major principal stress direction (1)
2.2.2 (Sketches 1 plus 1)See Fig 1.3.8, p. 19 of Jager and Ryder. (2 marks for any sketch a or b)

(2)
2.2.3 To reduce the length of tunnel exposed to the geological discontinuity (1)
2.2.4 The larger the excavation the more discontinuities exposed and therefore the weaker the rock
bordering the excavation. In order to maintain stability additional support will be required. (1)
2.2.5
Use of electronic detonators/shock tube
Correct spacing and charging/stemming of perimeter holes
Drilling accuracy (3)
Use sequential firing (any 3 points) [12]

Question 3 (Underground coal mining)

3.1 The ventilation required on a longwall face is determined by:


Methane emission from the face;
The dust produced by mining operations.
Methane emission will be affected by:
The methane content of the coal seam;
The methane content of the adjacent strata, which may include coal seams;

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The rate of mining and hence the exposure of fresh coal.

The adequacy of the ventilation is determined from methane measurements at the coalface,
particularly at the shearer, at the return end of the face and in the tailgate. In respect of dust,
ventilation will be determined by the amount of dust to which workmen are exposed.
Some relief has been obtained from methane emission on the face by drainage through boreholes
drilled into the coal or into the strata above or below the coal seam.
Dust is caused by operations on the coalface:
Coal cutting and loading by the shearer;
Coal conveying by the AFC;
The movement of the supports.

The amount of dust created will depend on:

The type and moisture content of the coal. Some coals tend to form more dust than others and while
this feature cannot be controlled, the moisture content can be improved by sprays on the machines.
Water infusion under pressure into the coal seam also has been used.
The height of the seam and the rate of production.
The design of machinery. For example, the number of picks and the speed of rotation of the cutting
drum have a considerable influence on dust formation.
The velocity of the air current. This conflicts with the necessity of removing methane, but should
not exceed 2,0m/sec, so as to prevent the spreading of dust.
An important factor in the ventilation of the face is the cross-sectional area open to the air current.
This area will be determined by the type of support used and by the method of working the face.
[1 mark per fact]

3.2 In a coal mine the design of a long wall mining section depends on certain fixed and variable
factors. What fixed factors will you consider in the design process of a longwall mining operation.
[7]

Dept of seam
Full thickness of seam
Strength, fault patterns, dip of seam
Presence of dykes and faults
Presence of water
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Amount of methane gas
Surface boundaries, road and rail
Adjacent old workings.
[Any 7 points]

3.3 Describe the energy and services supply that a normal long wall equipment requires for operation
and state what they are used for. (Any three) (3)

Electrical supply
For shearer, AFC, stage loader and crusher motors plus lighting, signals and communications equipment

Hydraulic fluid Supply


For powered Support, chain tension and ancillary equipment

Water Supply
For motor cooling, dust suppression and fire fighting

Compressed Air
For strata water pumps, pneumatic picks auxiliary fans and hard tools

[20]
Question 4 (Strip mining and power distribution)

4.1 (End cut Module 4, p. 12)


The End-cut Box Pit.
It is ideally used where the seam is located at a shallow depth.
It allows for the dragline to cast the spoil to the side away from the coal deposit.
It minimises the dragline cost because rehandling and degree of swing are the main functions
that increase dragline costs.
The dragline positions itself at the END of the cut and side-casts the spoil to a maximum swing of
90o opposite the new highwall. The shallow depth of the coal seam allows the spoiling to be
contained in the box-cut (spoil is actually placed on the ground level next to the box-cut sterilising
the reserves below. Should the depth increase the radius of the swing may become inadequate to
spoil clear of the box-pit in which case the dragline may have to re-handle the spoil.
Sketch see notes (6)

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[1 mark per fact]

4.2 (Module 5, p. 4. Not practical to design large capacity DC generators. AC can be readily stepped-
up or stepped-down.)

4.3 (Module 5, p. 4 Less conductor (copper); More cost effective; 3 phase generators are cheaper.)

4.4
4.4.1 (Connected load: The total of rated electrical appliances that are connected to the distribution
network) (2 marks)
4.4.2 (Load factor: Ratio of the average load for a certain period of time to the maximum demand for a short
interval.) (2 marks)

4.5
(Module 5, p. 5. Low power factors result in increased current requirements.)
(Limit the use of induction motors)
(Use capacitor within an inductive unit)
(Use pf compensating equipment)
4.6
The main substation, containing equipment which transforms the incoming transmission line voltage from
ESKOM to a primary distribution voltage for the mine. (2)

Portable substations, containing equipment which transforms the primary distribution voltage down to a
lower distribution voltage for the smaller machines not suitable for operation on the primary distribution
voltage. (2)

Portable switchhouses, containing equipment which automatically protects the distribution circuits at the
distribution voltage level and enables flexible isolation and control of mine feeders. (2)

Portable power centres, containing equipment which transforms power from the distribution voltage to
utilisation voltages of 380V and below for auxiliary equipment. (2)

Transmission lines and cables which carry power at the voltages used in the mine between the above
electrical apparatus and eventually to the loads served by the distribution system. (2)

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4.7
While the drive-by system has certain advantages over the backup systems for some operations, its
inherent how productivity does not make it attractive for use with rear dump trucks.
The modified drive-by system has been developed in order to increase the drive-by productivity to high
levels when used to load the conventional rear dump units.
The result is a loading method that can produce at a rate comparable to, or even higher than, the double
backup system. The shovel set-up is identical to the drive-by method.

The shovel tracks are oriented parallel to the bench face and the blast toe is directly in line with the inside
edge of the outer shovel track.
The "modification referred to in the methods name relates to the minimisation of the time used to
exchange trucks and, in particular, the trucks position used to reduce the overall shovel swing angles. As
in the drive-by system, truck travel routes are selected so that no sharp turns are necessary in either the
truck approach or haul route from the shovel. Again trucks always approach the shovel from the front.

The change, or modification, occurs as the truck enters the loading zone. As the truck passes the blast
point the driver turns away from the blast in order to orientate the truck tray within the arc of the shovel
swing. As the truck passes the shovel, the loaded dipper is swung over the truck box and is dumped, even
before the truck has stopped.
The shovel then swings back to refill the dipper while the truck stops and reverses towards the blast point,
thus minimising the shovel angle for the next and all subsequent dipper loads. If the blast contains some
poor digging, or if for some other reason the shovel is not ready to dump a dipper load as the truck is
positioning, the truck driver should proceed to the final loading position without the aid of the shovel.

Similarly, the shovel should not wait until the truck is in the final loading position to dump the first dipper
load. In this way, minimum time is lost both for the shovel and the truck.
It will be noted that the truck must reverse between one and one-and-a-half truck lengths to the final
loading position. The backup distance should be kept within this range in order that the truck driver does
not lose his orientation relative to the shovel and the blast point. Spillage can be a problem in this method,
as it is in all loading methods.
The truck approach and the ideal maximum shovel swing angle of 90 degrees are shown. Typical shovel
moves during the cut are the same as in the drive-by system consisting of short forward move-ups. The
truck route leaving the shovel is also indicated. The truck may proceed along the bench in its original
direction. If the bench is wide enough, a U-turn may be executed to allow the truck to return towards the
direction from which it had originally come.
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Advantages Disadvantages
Overall swing angles are low. Since loading is performed on only one side
of the shovel, any delay in the loading zone
stops production.
Shovel moves are minimal throughout the A large deadhead or cable relocation is
cut. required when the shovel completes its cut
along the face.
A cable bridge is not required making the The shovel is not well-positioned with
shovel set-up straightforward. respect to rock falls occurring towards the
side of the tracks.
Haulage truck manoeuving is less than with Spillage occurring from the first dipper load
the backup systems. may cause extra tyre damage.
Pit floor grade is easier to maintain compared The trail cable is susceptible to damage from
with the backup systems. collapse of the bank.
Minimum time is lost when a truck positions A straight face is required.
for a waiting shovel.
Relatively high productivity can be obtained The method is not suited to selective mining
in low faces. for ore grade control.
Dozer assistance is rarely needed for moves More frequent dozer cleanups are required.
in the mining sequence.
(10)
1 mark per any relevant point stated and 1 mark for any item correctly labelled in the sketch.
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4.2 Mention the four (4) types of loaders used in strip mining (4)
Mining Shovels
Stripping Shovels
Hydraulic front shovels
Hydraulic Excavators
[30]
Total: 100

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Annexure A, Presribed book, Chapter 3

Questions for self-evaluation: Module 1 (Mining Layouts and Strategies)

HANDBOOK ON ROCK ENGINEERING PRACTICE


CHAPTER 3 - STOPING LAYOUTS

3.1 Describe the derivation and use of the following layout design criteria:
3.1.1 Energy release rate
3.1.2 Excess shear stress
3.1.3 Volume excess shear stress
3.1.4 Rock hazard index
3.1.5 Face shape index
3.1.6 Average pillar stress
3.1.7 Pillar strength criteria
3.1.8 Rockwall condition factor
Answer
3.1.1 REP Handbook pp. 46-50
3.1.2 REP Handbook pp. 51-53
3.1.3 REP Handbook p. 53
3.1.4 REP Handbook pp. 53-55
3.1.5 REP Handbook p. 55
3.1.6 REP Handbook pp. 55-56
3.1.7 REP Handbook pp. 56-58
3.1.8 REP Handbook pp. 58-59

3.2 Calculate the rockwall condition factor for each of the six cases given in the following
table and comment on the likely conditions and support requirements you would
expect for tunnels situated in each of these environments:

Case No. 1 2 3 4 5 6
Tunnel depth (km) 2 2 2 2 2 2
Principal stress ratio 0.5 1.0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5

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Field stress 1 1 3 1 1 1
concentration
Rock strength 250 250 250 250 125 125
(MPa)
Rockmass condition 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.5 1.0 0.5
factor
Rockmass density 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.7
(t/m3)

Clearly state any assumptions you may care to make.


Answer
Shown below are the rockwall condition factors for each of the six cases, and the likely
conditions and support requirements to be expected in tunnels situated in each of these
environments:

Case RCF Assess- Conditions and Support


No. ment
1 0,53 < 0,7 Excellent conditions, no support
required
2 0,42 < 0,7 Excellent conditions, no support
required
3 1,59 > 1,0 Moderate conditions, some support
required
4 1,06 = 1,0 Good conditions, little support
required
5 1,06 = 1,0 Good conditions, little support
required
6 2,12 >> 1,0 Very poor conditions, intense
support required

3.3 Compare and contrast the following strategies for regional support at depth:

Stabilising pillars

Bracket pillars

Concrete pillars

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Backfill
(REP Handbook pp. 61-19)

3.4 List the various types of backfill used in South African gold, platinum and base metal
mines and write short notes on the purpose, performance and quality considerations
of each.
(REP Handbook pp. 70-76)

3.5 Sketch and describe the sequential grid mining method as applied in deep gold mines
and list the advantages and disadvantages of this method compared to longwall
mining. (10)
(REP Handbook pp. 90-92)

3.6. Sketch and describe six stope gully layouts and describe the mining situations for
which each layout is best suited, noting their advantages and disadvantages. (24)
(REP Handbook pp. 94-100)

3.7 Write short notes on the layout considerations that apply to remnant mining in deep gold
mining environments. (11)
(REP Handbook pp. 101-102)

3.8 Describe under what circumstances the following conditions will be encountered
during the mining of a second tabular reef in close proximity to a previously mined
reef:
3.8.1 High stress
3.8.2 Low stress
3.8.3 Tensile stress
3.8.4 Virgin stress
Answer
REP Handbook p. 110
High stress: Pillar left on previously mined reef.
Low stress: Stope on previously mined reef not closed.
Tensile stress: Stoping taking place in tensile zone of previously mined reef.
Virgin stress: Complete closure on previously mined reef.
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3.9 Discuss layout considerations that apply to remnant mining by addressing the following
issues:
3.9.1 Panels approaching each other
3.9.2 Leads/lags between panels
3.9.3 Routes for access and egress
3.9.4 Direction of advancing elongated remnants (4)
Answer
3.9.1 Panels approaching each other
Panels should not approach each other. One side should be stopped and suitably supported.
(REP, p. 102)
3.9.2 Leads/lags between panels
Large leads/lags between panels should be avoided. (REP, p. 102)
3.9.3 Routes for access and egress
At least two separate routes for access and egress should be established for each face and
kept clean at all times. (REP, p. 102)
3.9.4 Direction of advancing elongated remnants
Mine in the direction of elongation where possible. (REP, p. 102) (4)

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Annexure A, Presribed book, Chapter 5

Questions for self-evaluation: Module 1 (Mining Layouts and Strategies)

HANDBOOK ON ROCK ENGINEERING PRACTICE


CHAPTER 5 - TUNNEL LAYOUTS

5.1 Briefly describe the two main factors that govern the rockmass environment as it
pertains to tunnel layouts.
Anwer
REP Handbook pp. 194-195 - Rockmass strength characteristics
REP Handbook pp. 195-196 - Stress environment

5.2 The design of tunnel layouts may be dealt with under the broad headings listed
below. Write short notes on the aspects you consider to be most important under
each of these headings.
5.2.1 Mine Design Strategies
5.2.2 Geotechnical Environment
5.2.3 Mining Environment
5.2.4 Stress Environment
5.2.5 Excavation Size and Shape
5.2.6 Orientation and Positioning
5.2.7 Tunnel Interaction
5.2.8 Excavation Technique
Answer
5.2.1 Mine Design Strategies
Geological Model
Geotechnical Model
Rock Mechanics Model
Rock Mechanics Strategies
5.2.2 Geotechnical Environment
Rockmass Characteristics
Rockmass Behaviour
Rockmass Structure

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5.2.3 Mining Environment
Ore Body Structure
Mining Layout
Mining Sequence
5.2.4 Stress Environment
Field Stress Components
Rockwall Condition Factor
Stress Change: magnitude, direction, rate
Numerical Modelling
5.2.5 Excavation Size and Shape
Stress Concentration
Stress Direction and Change
Stress Fracturing
Geological Considerations
Effect of Size and Shape
5.2.6 Orientation and Positioning
Tunnel and Stress Orientation
Geological Features nature and orientation
Traversing Weak Ground Conditions
Traversing Hazardous Geological Features
Layout Hazards: seismic, stress, breakaways, wide areas
5.2.7 Tunnel Interaction
Stress Concentration Decay
Excavation Spacing
Numerical Modelling
Rock Condition and Rockmass Strength
5.2.8 Excavation Technique
Excavation Size, Shape, Purpose
Blasting Practice
Stress Fracturing

5.3. Write short notes on the interaction of underground tunnels and other excavations.
Answer
REP Handbook pp. 201-203
Stress Concentration Decay
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Effect of Field Stress Magnitude


Effect of Stress Components
Effect of Stress Orientation
Effect of Excavation Sizes
Effect of Excavation Shapes
Effect of Excavation Orientations
Effect of Rock Strength
Effect of Rockmass Conditions

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Annexure B
Questions for self-evaluation: Module 2 (Mining methods for Narrow Tabular Ore Bodies)

2.1 Which of the narrow-reef mining methods listed in module 2 are still in use today? List
a few mines where these methods are still used. (5)
Answer
Cave mining: Was used at Hartebeestfontein in the past (See SAIMM paper: A review of
mining without support in the back area as practised at Hartebeestfontein GM Co. Ltd.)
Scattered mining: Elandsrand GM
Sequential grid mining: Elandsrand GM
Longwall mining: Western Deep Levels
Trackless mining: Rustenburg Platinum Mines (See SAIMM paper: Methods: trackless
mining at Rustenberg Platinum Mines Ltd Union Section)
Up-dip stoping: Bafokeng South Mine (See SAIMM paper: Up-dip stoping using 7,5 kW
winches)
Herringbone: Was used at Rustenburg Platinum Mine (See SAIMM paper: A Direct
Comparison between the Handgot Herringbone System and Mechanised Scattered Mining
Employing Both the Scattered and Longwall System).

2.2 Briefly describe the main characteristics of the following stoping methods:
2.2.1 Shrinkage
2.2.2 Herringbone
2.2.3 Resue (9)
Suggested solution
Shrinkage
At least 1/3 of broken rock is removed after every blast. Broken rock occupies about
two-thirds more space than solid (in-situ) rock.
Used where dips are between 35 and 90.
Used at shallow depths where rock pressures are not excessive and hanging wall does
not settle too rapidly.
Herringbone
Used if low tonnages are required.
For flat dipping reefs < 17.
Consists of a herringbone system of tracks about 8 m apart on dip.
Fairly labour-intensive.
Resue mining

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Mining of reef and waste separately


Cycles:
Waste blast and packing
Reef lifting/dropping and scraping/cleaning
Sweeping, support and drilling
Reef is either lifted or dropped after the waste has been mined.
Can be used when the stoping width is bigger than the reef width and when good partings
exist between the ore and the waste.
A better grade is sent to the mill.

2.3 Mining methods and layouts usually become more concentrated and intensive as
mining progresses to deeper levels. Explain this trend and describe some advantages
and disadvantages of intensive mining. (8)
(Module 2, p. 11)

2.4 Define and discuss the merits of south-facing (down-dip) and up-dip drilling. (6)

Answer (Module 2, p. 12)

South-facing drilling

Carrying faces roughly parallel to the strike and advancing them in a direction down dip.
Advantage: Gravity assists the drill operator.
Disadvantages: Difficult to clean and examining for misfires.
Up-dip drilling
Drilling holes in the direction of the dip.
Advantages:
Broken ore falls away from the face makes early examination of the face possible.
Dip provides further headroom for the machine operators.
Holes drilled up-dip are self-sludging.
No water remains in drilled holes.

2.5 Describe the mining operational cycle in a typical narrow tabular stope. (22)
Answer (Module 2, pp. 28 - 42)
The different activities/tasks that form part of such a mining cycle follows (each must listed
and described in further detail):
Face preparation (p. 28)
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Dropping and moving of the blast barricade (p. 30)
Preparation for drilling (p. 31)
Drilling (p. 31)
Transporation of material into the stope (p. 34)
Sweepings (p. 34)
Support (p. 35)
Preparation for cleaning (p. 35)
Charging-up (p. 37)
Positioning of barricade before blasting (p. 38)
Cleaning (p. 40)

2.6 How could trackless mechanised equipment be used to mine a reef dipping at more than
10? (2)
Answer
Diagonal drives could be developed at minor dips < 10
Mechanised equipment may operate in advance strike gulleys only and not in the actual
stope. (2)

2.7 Discuss strategies and options available when mining deeper than 4 200 m. (12)
Answer
Read/study the following SAIMM papers:
- "Options for supporting narrow-width Witwatersrand GM stopes at ultra depth" by AJS
Spearing.
- "Ultra-deep level mining - future requirements" by DH Diering.

Dave Diering addresses the following issues in his paper:

- Shaft sinking sinking down to 4 000 m in one hit.


- 4 000 m ropes winders that can accommodate this length of rope.
- Winding big motors; sophisticated braking systems.
- Shaft design faster equipping is required as well as low-maintenance, high-speed
hoisting.
- Refrigeration and ventilation cooling requirements should be minimised. Enough
cooling power should be provided and distributed effectively.
- Access development
- Stoping method sequential grid is favoured
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- Stope support total backfill


- Seismic management
- Prior geological knowledge

2.8 Describe (and use sketches where possible) a mining method to be used at a depth of
1 800 m without using support in the back area. Refer to the following:
Face support and its function
Advantages and disadvantages of this method
Ledging and preparation for stoping
Stope layout and method (20)
(Module 2, pp. 49 - 74)

2.9 You have been asked to design a trackless mechanised mining method for a shallow
overstoped area. The reef is 1,5 m thick and dips at 20 degrees. Discuss the
following:
2.9.1 The development layout
2.9.2 Strategies to minimise dilution
2.9.3 Mechanised equipment to be used and its influence on excavation sizes
2.9.4 The optimal tramming distances for various types of machinery and the influence
of these distances on the layout
2.9.5 Stoping layout, support, drilling pattern and cleaning
2.9.6 Factors that are critical for the success of trackless mechanised mining methods
2.9.7 Ventilation [28]

(Study the following paper: Trackless mining at Rustenburg Platinum Mines Ltd Union
Section by AGW Knock. Module 2, pp. 110-130)

2.10 Discuss in detail the factors that must be considered when designing an underground
trackless mechanised mining layout. Include the influence of equipment limitations on
layouts. (15)
Suggested solution
Safety: Working conditions usually become safer - less labour-intensive - fewer people
exposed to hazards. Safety canopies on equipment provide additional protection.
Operators should, however, be well trained.

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The risk of fires increases due to the presence of diesel and tyres. However, mechanised
methods use less timber support.
Productivity: Usually increases - more mechanisation. When tasks are done by machines this
lessens fatigue and increases morale of employees.
Profits: Will depend on cost of mechanised methods compared to conventional methods.
Mechanisation usually results in higher capital expenditure.
Gradient Orebody dip should ideally not be more than 15 degrees although 10 degrees is
more suitable. Also the steeper it becomes, the more difficult to tram, more dangerous in
terms of LHD / trucks brakes failure and far more costly on spares.
Dimension of tunnel - a balance to maintained between limiting the waste blasted, air
requirements for larger excavation and the safety required by adequately sized tunnels
/ roadways. Usually larger than for conventional mining methods.
Conditions of roadways roadways should be wide enough to accommodate all types of
vehicles used in the mining process. Also they should be well-graded to reduce the spillage
caused by LHDs / trucks in uneven roads, reduce the risk element to humans who have to
travel in the same roadways. Height and size of roadways coupled to the condition is critical to
the safety of the entire operation. Roadways should be well maintained to keep tyre cost low.
Working faces, rigs and LHDs to be matched.
Ventilation requirements it must be understood that LHDs / trucks emit a lot of smoke and
high heat. In addition to normal requirements, dilution of the smoke and lowering the
temperature in workings should be catered for.Ventilation should be adequate to dilute
heat and exhaust gases produced by mechanised equipment.
Operators of mechanised equipment need to be trained to such an extent that they can operate
equipment safely.
Capital outlay: Usually higher compared to conventional methods.
Maintenance of equipment: Need well-equipped workshops u/g if equipment is too big for cages
and if no declines from the surface exist.
Amount of development: Usually less money is needed for development compared to
conventional methods.

Distance to dumping points usage of LHD as transport units should not be encouraged unless
distances are less than 150m. For longer distances, use trucks and even these they
should not exceed 1km.

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Annexure C
Questions for self-evaluation: Module 3 (Coal Mining - underground)

3.1 What factors determine the ventilation requirements of a longwall face? Discuss at least
one of these factors, stating how it can be optimised to reduce ventilation requirements.(5)
(MIN301-E notes, module 3, pp. 11-12)

3.2 Discuss the dangers of spontaneous combustion in longwalls with reference to the
particular problems with advancing and retreating longwalls. (5)
(MIN301-E notes, module 3, pp. 13-14)

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Annexure D
Questions for self-evaluation: Module 4 (Coal Mining Surface)

4.1 Draglines, shovels and bucket-wheel excavators are three of the principal stripping units
that could be used at surface mines. List some of the advantages and disadvantages of
draglines. (10)
Answer
Module 4, p. 9

Advantages of draglines Disadvantages of draglines


Flexible operation can be moved However difficult to more it over long
within close ranges from one place distances may require the dropping of
to another. power lines.
Huge digging depth capability. Cannot dig poorly blasted rock.
Can handle and stack overburden High capital cost per bucket volume.
that has poor stability.
Safe from spoil pile slides.
High percentage of coal recovery
less coal damage.
Can move in any direction

4.2 Define box cut and list the two methods that can be used to make a box cut without re-
handling material. (3)
(Module 4, p. 12)
(Box cut: First cut to make a new strip mine)
(Box cut methods without rehandling: end cut & side cut)

4.3 Choose one of the following methods of doing a box cut and describe it briefly. Describe the
main features of the method and describe the conditions under which it is to be used. Use
sketches.
End cut
End cut with re-handle
Side cut (6)
Suggested solution
(End cut Module 4, p. 12)
(End cut with re-handle Module 4, p. 13)

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MIN3601/201

(Side cut Module 4, p. 15)

The End-cut Box Pit.


It is ideally used where the seam is located at a shallow depth.
It allows for the dragline to cast the spoil to the side away from the coal deposit.
It minimises the dragline cost because rehandling and degree of swing are the main
functions that increase dragline costs.
The dragline positions itself at the END of the cut and side-casts the spoil to a maximum
swing of 90o opposite the new highwall. The shallow depth of the coal seam allows the
spoiling to be contained in the box-cut (spoil is actually placed on the ground level next to
the box-cut sterilising the reserves below. Should the depth increase the radius of the
swing may become inadequate to spoil clear of the box-pit in which case the dragline may
have to re-handle the spoil.
Sketch see notes (6)

4.4 Choose any two of the following dragline strip mining methods listed below and describe its
main features and the conditions under which it can be utilised. Use sketches.
Simple side casting
Advance bench
Extended bench
Intermediate extended bench
Terrace mining
Pull-back method
Horseshoe mining method (12)

Answer
Simple side casting (Module 4, p. 17)
Advance bench (Module 4, p. 20)
Extended bench (Module 4, p. 25)
Intermediate extended bench (Module 4, p. 27)
Terrace mining (Module 4, p. 28)
Pull-back method (Module 4, p. 31)
Horseshoe mining method (Module 4, p. 41)

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4.5 List five factors that must be considered when selecting a dragline. (5)
(Module 4, p. 48)

4.6 Draw a sketch showing a simple side-casting method using a dragline, naming the
various features illustrated. (5)

4.7 Compare the Drive-by method to the Modified drive-by method of loading (6)
(Module 4, pp. 68-73)
4.8 Describe the operational process of the drive-by method of open-pit ore or waste
loading/mining. (4)
Answer - The DRIVE-BY method (Module 4, p. 74)
This method favours the large capacity haulers and tractor-trailer units which will have
difficulty in reversing into position for loading.
It is most suitable for long faces.
The shovel positions itself parallel to the bench face, i.e. facing in the same direction
that the hauler will park. The hauler will stop alongside the shovel and when loaded it
will simply drive off in the direction it faces.

4.9 List five advantages and five disadvantages of using a bucket-wheel excavator. (10)
Suggested solution (Module 4, p. 75)
BWE Advantages:
Continuous operation without swinging.
Long discharge range.
Versatile work on highwall or flat coal seam.
Can manage irregularly stacked spoil.
Can be used in tandem with d/line.
Does well in reclamation work of dumps.

BWE Disadvantages:
Cannot dig hard material.
Large maintenance crew required.
High capital cost.
Needs a prepared surface to work on.
Is suspect to spoil slides and flooding.
Poor mobility

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Annexure E
Questions for self-evaluation: Module 5 (Power distribution)

5.1 Draw the electrical open line distribution system on a mine, from the Eskom supply
down to a dragline, drill rig and shovel. Show the different components of the system
as well as the voltages that are involved. (6)
(See MIN301-E notes, module 5, p. 7)

5.2 Describe how cables are protected from damage by vehicles in mine workings.
(2)
(MIN301-E notes, module 5, p. 11)

5.3 How does the price of electricity compare to that of another energy source, for example
diesel (per energy unit)? (6)
(Try to get information from your mine. Try to find out to what extend mines substitute
diesel driven machines (e.g. locomotives) with electric driven ones. Why did some
surface mines use electric driven trucks (and pantographs) in the past?)

5.4 Briefly list and discuss four major considerations when designing the electrical system
for a surface mine. (8)
(Module 5, p. 3: safety, reliability, flexibility & cost)
(The electric motor is very reliable and efficient in converting electrical energy to
mechanical energy. South Africas electricity is currently still very competitively priced
compared to other countries.)

5.5 List and briefly describe the major items of an electrical distribution system. (10)
(Module 5, p.3: main substation, portable substations, portable switchhouses, portable
power centres, transmission lines and cables.)

5.6 Explain why it is necessary to maximise voltage and minimise current for long-distance
transmission. (2)
(Module 5, p. 4; To minimise transmission losses and the cross-sectional area of the
conductor.)

5.7 Explain why alternating current is used more often than direct current on mines. (2)

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(Module 5, p. 4. Not practical to design large capacity DC generators. AC can be
readily stepped-up or stepped-down.)

5.8 Briefly explain the advantages of three phase-systems over single-phase electrical
systems. (3)
(Module 5, p. 4 Less conductor (copper); More cost effective; 3 phase generators are
cheaper.)

5.9 List mining equipment that may typically be driven by electricity. (5)
(Module 5, p. 5: drills, draglines, shovels, crushers, pumps)

5.10 Define the following:


Connected load
Load factor (2)
(Module 5, p. 5)
(Connected load: The total of rated electrical appliances that are connected to the
distribution network)
(Load factor: Ratio of the average load for a certain period of time to the maximum
demand for a short interval.)

5.11 Briefly explain why a power factor of one (or close to one) is desirable. Describe how a low
power factor can be corrected. (4)
(Module 5, p. 5. Low power factors result in increased current requirements.)
(Limit the use of induction motors)
(Use capacitor within an inductive unit)
(Use pf compensating equipment)

5.12 Briefly describe the three methods of power distribution at open pits. Indicate which one
(or two) of the three is/are most commonly used and explain why that is. (4)
Answer
(Module 5, p. 6)
In open-pit mining, there are three methods of power distribution which are commonly
utilised in the direct mine area. These are as follows:

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1) The installation of a high-voltage line along one side of the mine and the
transformation of the power at selected points to the voltage required for the operation
of equipment.
2) The installation of a continuous high-voltage line in a circle around the pit and the
transformation of the power at selected points to the voltage required for the operation
of equipment.
3) The installatioin of both a continuous high-voltage and a low-voltage line in circles
around the pit, with drop points to the pit where required.

Of these methods, by far the most common are the second and third, since individual
sections of the circuit can be isolated without power interruptions to the remainder of the
pit.

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UNISA 2017

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