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International Journal of

Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijrmms

in underground mining

F. Vivanco n, F. Melo

Laboratorio de Fı́sica no Lineal, Departamento de Fı́sica, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, USACH, Avenida Ecuador 3493, Casilla 307, Correo 2 Santiago, Chile

a r t i c l e i n f o abstract

Article history: An increased interest in scientiﬁc applications for underground mining, mainly to extend the produc-

Received 1 December 2011 tive life of open pit mines such as Chuquicamata in Chile, has motivated a growing effort to model

Received in revised form experimental and theoretically phenomena found in these mines as well as the processes involved in

29 December 2012

their operation. There is a general consensus that contamination as a result of dilution, a critical

Accepted 15 January 2013

Available online 1 March 2013

problem found in the operation of underground mines, might be reduced by an adequate design of

draw point grids and the appropriate handling of them. This requires understanding of the ﬂow of rock

Keywords: fragments and the evolution of the movement zone created by the interaction of multiple draw points.

Sublevel caving In this paper, we present a theoretical study focused on determining the movement zone created by the

Kinematic model

interaction of two neighboring draw points operating in alternate mode that simulate those found in a

Isolated movement zone

sub-level caving mine. We employ a modiﬁed 2D kinematic model that includes a dilation front and

Draw points

assumes that rocks are restricted to move only along streamlines so that we may determine the

modiﬁcation of an isolated movement zone that results from the extraction of material from a

neighboring draw point. The volume of extracted material required to initiate the interaction and the

location where it occurs are predicted in terms of the material’s previously extracted volume, diffusion

coefﬁcient, density variations, and extraction rate. The results show that the top surface of the

previously isolated movement zone is modiﬁed in order to permit the surface to reach greater heights

and displace its maximum position closer to the operating draw point. We also ﬁnd that the regions

outside of the operating draw point’s isolated movement zone are affected by the interaction and this is

conﬁrmed by the deﬂection of tracer lines. This could have signiﬁcant negative effects in underground

mining operations because dilution, initially located out of range of an operating draw point, might be

carried to either the neighboring draw points or the operating draw point’s opening, consequently

increasing pollution. The results presented can be extrapolated to 3D systems and generalized to other

type of ﬂows described by more complex models than a kinematic model.

& 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

tion of minerals by useless material. Draw points contaminated

Underground mining is under serious consideration to replace by dilution must be shutdown, incrementing the mining operat-

the longly, exploited open pit mine. Chilean mining company ing cost. In the mining community, it is thought that an adequate

Codelco plans to transform Chuquicamata, a milestone as one distribution of draw points and good handling of the material

of the biggest open pit copper mines, into an underground mine inside the mine might prevent or reduce the draw point pollution.

over the next few years. However, underground mines require a Therefore, a thorough understanding and characterization of the

considerable initial investment and have inherent risks. Within ﬂow created by multiple draw points is required [1–6]. Despite

the techniques applied in underground mining is sub-level caving, the complexity found in underground mines, the main features of

a method that employs a lattice of draw points built below the ﬂow of broken rocks during the extraction process have been

the ore. The extraction of material from these points induces a described by simple models based on empirical observations [3,5]

downwards motion and creates a ﬂow of broken rocks. One of the and hypotheses that produce inaccurate predictions [2]. More

recently, kinematic and plasticity models have been introduced to

describe these ﬂows in a more grounded way [7–9]. Although

n

Corresponding author. Tel.: þ56 996791090.

these models are different in nature, it has been shown that

E-mail addresses: francisco.vivanco@usach.cl, the main features of the ﬂow can be reproduced regardless of

fvivanco@gmail.com (F. Vivanco). the model employed [7]. In a previous article, we studied the

1365-1609/$ - see front matter & 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmms.2013.01.013

382 F. Vivanco, F. Melo / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 60 (2013) 381–388

movement zone that resulted from the interaction of multiple diffusion equation including their solutions can be found in

draw points operating simultaneously [10]. We found that the Ref. [18]. For simplicity we considered the solution of diffusion

interaction of draw points breaks the symmetry of the movement equation in the case of a narrow aperture, see Ref. [11]. Then, the

zone, increasing its height within the interaction region. However, vertical velocity is given by

for this study the draw points operate in alternate mode, meaning !

dz Q0 ½xx0 2

that the material is extracted by a single draw point at a time. uz ¼ ¼ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp , ð1Þ

Here we present a theoretical study based on a modiﬁed 2D dt 4pDP z 4DP z

kinematic model that includes a dilation front and considers two and the horizontal velocity is obtained from ux ¼ DP @uz =@x, it

draw points operating in alternate mode in order to simulate reads

those found in a sub-level caving mine. It is important to mention !

that the results shown below can be generalized to three dimen- dx Q0 ½xx0 2 xx0

ux ¼ ¼ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp , ð2Þ

sions and that they can be derived for ﬂows arising in more dt 4pDP z 4DP z 2z

complex geometries with the help of numerical methods. Here we

limit the study to present the simplest case which illustrates the where DP is the diffusion coefﬁcient, measured in meters, which

general rules. In Section 2 we show the basics of 2D kinematic magnitude is of the order of the size of a typical rock fragment, x0

model and dilation front. Section 3 describes the interaction of is the location of the center of the draw point and Q0 is the

two draw points operating in alternate mode. In Section 4 we sectional ﬂow rate, i.e. the section of removed material per unit of

brieﬂy discuss the effects introduced by models that reproduce time, measured in m2/s. In three dimensional systems it corre-

the isolated movement zone more accurately and in Section 5, we sponds to the ﬂow rate or volume of removed material per unit of

summarize the results. time, measured in m3/s. The system of coordinates is shown in

Fig. 1. Eqs. (1) and (2) represent the velocity ﬁeld of steady ﬂow of

grains where dilation or local volume changes are negligible.

2. Kinematic model, dilation front and isolated movement The position of grains or rock fragments in time is determined

zone by the pathlines or trajectories. These pathlines are obtained by

solving the differential Eqs. (1) and (2) simultaneously. In general,

In recent articles we have shown that simple granular models ﬁnd the analytical solution to these equations is not possible

such as 2D kinematic model could be considered as a starting when velocity components depend on time. However, as in our

point to study more complex situations like that observed in case, in a steady state the velocity components are independent of

underground mining when sublevel caving technique is applied, time and therefore the pathlines and streamlines coincide, then

see Refs. [7–10]. Although, these models do not consider effects the trajectories are determined by introducing the streamlines

like humidity or grains shape and roughness the resulting predic- equation into Eqs. (1) and (2) and integrating in time. The stream-

tions are consistent with experimental measurements on scale lines are calculated from the tangent condition dz=dx ¼ uz =ux , it

models, see Ref. [10]. It is important to note that kinematic model reads

is successful in describing the velocity distribution, represented dz z

¼ : ð3Þ

by the streamlines, in a rectangular hopper under stationary dx xx0

conditions, when the material is in a loose packing state [11].

The solution to this equation is given by

However, the agreement becomes poor if material is in a nearly

compact state [12,13], because dilation takes place when densely z ¼ cðxx0 Þ2 : ð4Þ

packed granulate starts to ﬂow. These ﬁnding have been recently

This equation which represents the trajectory of rock fragments in a

conﬁrmed by experimental results [14,15] showing that stream-

steady ﬂow created by the extraction of material from a narrow draw

lines are correctly predicted by kinematic model in loose packing

regime. Different approaches have been developed to modeling

this type of granular ﬂows, Mullins [16] modeled the granular

ﬂow as the upwards diffusion of voids and Litwiniszyn [17]

considered the probability of motion of grains as a random

process. Following similar ideas Nedderman and Tuzun [11]

developed a model in which particles located immediately above

the extraction oriﬁce fall down, letting the particles in the upper

layers slide into the vacant space. This model is based on the

study of the trajectories of rock fragments, that is the geometrical

study of the motion of rock fragments, and therefore does not

require to make reference to the forces involved in the process

in particular the gravity, i.e. is a pure kinematic model and is

currently referred to as the kinematic model. If the sliding of

particles in the upper layers is viewed as a quasi-stationary

process, then it is expected that the horizontal velocity depends

on the gradient of the vertical velocity. According to Nedderman

and Tuzun [11] the simplest relationship that can be considered

between vertical and horizontal velocities in a 2D system is

ux ¼ DP @uz =@x, where ux and uz are the horizontal and vertical

velocities and DP is a parameter representing the lateral mobility

of grains called diffusion coefﬁcient which has units of distance.

Assuming constant density throughout the system and replacing

Fig. 1. A schematic illustration that shows the dilation front moving upwards with

the last expression into the stationary mass conservation equa- velocity vF and the IMZ at two different times, t1 and t2. Behind the front, the rocks

tion @ux =@x þ @uz =@z ¼ 0 it is found a diffusion-like equation for move downwards with velocity vP while the rocks located ahead of the front

the vertical velocity, @uz =@z ¼ DP @2 uz =@x2 . A complete study of the remain static. At rightmost is shown the coordinate system.

F. Vivanco, F. Melo / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 60 (2013) 381–388 383

point. In this case the trajectories are parabolas centered at the deﬁned by the dilation front, we integrate any of the two equa-

middle point of the draw point, x0. The arbitrary constant c deter- tions (7) or (8). For simplicity we choose Eq. (8), then replacing

mines a speciﬁc trajectory or similarly identiﬁes a particular rock the streamlines equation, Eq. (4), into Eq. (8) and integrating

fragment during the ﬂow. we obtained

In a recent publications [8,9], we have shown that neglecting !

4 pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ 3=2 ½xx0 2 r

the local volume changes in kinematic model results in a pDP z exp ¼ Q t, ð9Þ

misprediction of motion of tracer lines, measured experimentally

3 4DP z Dr 0

in scale models. This is a consequence of the packing decrease or

where t is the operating time of the draw point and x and z deﬁne

loosening that is not included in the original formulation of the

a point on the boundary of the IMZ. The set of all points (x,z)

kinematic model. We showed that at ﬁrst approximation it can be

that are solution of Eq. (9) deﬁnes the boundary of the IMZ or

corrected by introducing a dilation front propagating upwards

dilation front. We observe that increasing Q 0 t and r=Dr produce

from the draw point. This dilation front is referred to a moving

more elongated IMZ boundary while increasing DP creates more

surface that propagates the increase in local volume or equiva-

rounded shapes. It is important to mention that the boundary of

lently packing decrease or loosening. It is identiﬁed with the

the IMZ obtained with modiﬁed kinematic model differs from

boundary of the Isolated Movement Zone (IMZ) mentioned in the

the one observed in gravel scale models. However, as mentioned

contemporary literature, see for instance Refs. [19–21]. According

by Nedderman and Tuzun, the kinematic model is suitable to

to the literature the IMZ represents the volume of mobilized and

reproduce the experimental results obtained in the ﬂow of

dilated material. The dilation front separates the IMZ from the

granular material in a ﬂat-bottomed hopper, see Ref. [11]. Despite

surrounding stationary material called stagnant zone. This dila-

the differences between the modiﬁed kinematics model and the

tion front is initially located in the vicinity of the draw point

experimental observations in gravel scale models, we consider

and starts to move upwards when material is removed from this

the modiﬁed kinematic model to as a ﬁrst approximation in

point. As shown in previous work [8], the IMZ is signiﬁcantly

determining the movement zone created by two draw points

affected by the packing changes because the sliding capacity of

operating alternately.

rock fragments is strongly dependent of the available empty

In highly compacted systems, the rock fragments slide down

space. Assuming a steady state ﬂow, the mass balance in the

after available space is created underneath them due to the

volume element deﬁned by two consecutive positions of the

propagation of the dilation front. Therefore, part of the removed

dilation front separated a time interval dt, as shown in Fig. 1, at

material from the draw point contributes to dilation front reaches

the point (x,z) located on the front can be written as

the rock fragment’s position and the rest of the extracted material

J dA dt ¼ Dr dsF dA, ð5Þ to the downwards motion of the rock fragment. According to

2

Appendix A, we have the following expressions for the horizontal

where J ¼ rvP is the ﬂow of rocks in kg/m s, vP is velocity of rocks

and vertical displacement of a rock fragment, initially located at

in m/s, dsF is the displacement vector of the dilation front in

ðxS ,zS Þ, when Q 0 T material is removed from the draw point

meters which is parallel to the rock fragments velocity, Dr ¼

2 31=3

r0 r is the density change introduced by the rock motion in !

Kg/m3, r0 is the density outside the IMZ, r is the density inside 6 Dr 3 1 ½xS x0 2 7

x ¼ x0 þ 4 1 þ qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp Q 0 T 5 ðxS x0 Þ,

the IMZ and dA is the area element whose normal is parallel to the r 4 4pD z3 4DP zS

P S

front propagation vector dsF . In deriving Eq. (5) we assumed that

ð10Þ

the mass, or number of rock fragments, inside IMZ remains

constant for an inﬁnitesimal displacement of the dilation front, and

such that the local volume changes can be identiﬁed with the " ! #2=3

local density changes. Then, the expression for the velocity of the Dr

3=2 3 1 ðxS x0 Þ2

z¼ 1þ z pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp Q 0T : ð11Þ

dilation front reads r S 4 pDP 4DP zS

dsF r In the particular case where the rock fragment is initially located

¼ vF ¼ v : ð6Þ

dt Dr P in the axis of symmetry of the draw point, these expressions

According to this equation, the dilation front moves upwards simplify to x ¼ x0 and

faster than the rock fragments downwards. Its velocity depends 2=3

Dr 3=2 3 1

on the local density change such that for a very small change in z¼ 1þ zS pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ Q 0 T : ð12Þ

r 4 pDP

density the front extends along the entire system almost instan-

taneously, recovering the behavior described by the original Taking into account that the rock fragments move towards the

kinematic model. However, the dilation front has a ﬁnite exten- draw point, we observe from Eqs. (10) and (11) that large local

sion for sufﬁciently large density contrast and it is initially located density changes increase the amount of material removed in

in the vicinity of the draw point. By introducing the components order to rock fragments slide down and create a steady ﬂow. Thus,

of rock fragments velocity, Eqs. (1) and (2), into Eq. (6) we the ﬁnal position of the rock fragment depends non-linearly

obtained the components of the dilation front velocity on the total removed volume, the diffusion coefﬁcient, the local

! density change and the initial position of the rock fragments, even

r Q0 ½xx0 2 xx0 in the simpler case where the fragment is located along the

vx ¼ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp , ð7Þ

Dr 4pDP z 4DP z 2z symmetry axis of the draw point. It is worthy to mention that all

the results obtained with the modiﬁed kinematic model can be

and

generalized to more complex models like the plasticity model [7].

!

r Q0 ½xx0 2 As mentioned earlier, one of the main concerns of under-

vz ¼ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp : ð8Þ ground mining is controlling of dilution. This involves the thor-

Dr 4pDP z 4DP z

ough understanding of the rock ﬂow in order to predict dilution

Note that the streamlines equation corresponding to the velocity relocation. Hence the importance of highlighting the result

ﬁeld of the dilation front is the same as for the rock fragments, see expressed by Eqs. (10) and (11) which allows, in ﬁrst approxima-

Eq. (4). On the other hand, to determine the boundary of the IMZ, tion, estimate the ﬁnal position of rock fragments, either ore or

384 F. Vivanco, F. Melo / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 60 (2013) 381–388

dilution, through simple expressions. It is important to mention those created by a single isolated draw point, see left panel of

that in sublevel caving mines the material is removed discretely, Fig. 2. If the removed material from draw point b is such that

therefore the continuous time may be replaced by a number of Mb ¼ M nb , the boundaries of IMZb and IMZa are tangent at the point

extractions, as will be shown later. In the next section, it will be A, deﬁned by ðxn ,zn Þ. Then, there exists a streamline deﬁned by the

determined the movement zone created by the extraction of points xb and A that intersects the top of IMZa boundary at the

material from two neighboring draw points, operating alternately, point B, see center of Fig. 2. The region affected by the interaction

and it will be shown how this interaction modiﬁes the tracer lines is extended by additional extractions of material from draw point

displacement. b, as shown in the right panel of Fig. 2. We expected that the

boundary of the IMZa located between limit points B and B þ

be distorted due to the removal of material. To calculate this

3. The movement zone of two neighboring draw points distortion it is required to determine the new positions of the

operating in alternate extraction points on the IMZa boundary following the streamlines deﬁned by

their initial positions. If ðxS ,zS Þ are the generic coordinates of the

In the next paragraphs, we focus our attention in determining

the boundary of the movement zone created by two draw points

operating alternately, where the same amount of material is

extracted from each draw point operating one at a time. We

considered a two dimensional system in the plane (x,z) consisting

of two neighboring draw points with inﬁnitely small apertures,

located at ða,0Þ and ðb,0Þ and to hereafter referred to as draw

points a and b. Let Q a Ma and Q b M b be the amount of material

extracted from draw points a and b after Ma and Mb extractions.

Since these draw points are operating in alternate mode, the

material is removed ﬁrst from draw point a while b remains

closed creating an IMZa boundary centered at x ¼ xa . Then, draw

point a is closed and material begins to remove from draw point b

creating an IMZb boundary centered at x ¼ xb . If draw points are

far enough apart we obtain two IMZ such as those created by a

single isolated draw point. However, if draw points are close to

each other so that individual IMZ overlap, the two IMZ interact

changing the shape of IMZa. This interaction begins after a certain

number of extractions Mnb from draw point b, and at point ðxn ,zn Þ

both IMZ are tangent to each other. According to Appendix B, this

point is given by

x þ x x x qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ Fig. 2. (Left) Two IMZ boundaries, IMZa and IMZb, created by Ma extraction from

a b a

xn ¼ þ b 9þ C 2 3 , ð13Þ draw point a and M b o M nb from draw point b. (Center) When M b ¼ Mnb , both

2 2 IMZ meet at point A of coordinates ðxn ,yn Þ. Subsequent extractions create a

perturbation on top of IMZa located in the neighborhood of point B. (Right) When

and M b 4 M nb , the IMZ boundaries intersect at two points, A and A þ , the region on

qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ 2

1 xb xa 2 1 top of IMZa boundary, delimited by points B and Bþ , is affected by the removal of

zn ¼ 9 þ C 2 3 : ð14Þ material from draw point b.

6DP 2 C2

And the number of extractions from draw point b required to

initiate the interaction is given by

Q 6un

M nb ¼ a M a exp , ð15Þ

Qb 1un

n

wherepuﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

is the solution of Eq. (B.8) and C is determined from

u ð 9 þ C 2 3Þ=C. As shown in Appendix B, the number of

n

and the point ðxn ,zn Þ depend on the diffusion coefﬁcient DP, the

density variations Dr=r, the volume extraction rates Qa and Qb,

the initial number of extractions Ma from draw point a and the

separation distance between the center of draw points xb xa .

Note that, the interaction is primarily affected by the total volume

of removed material and the separation distance between draw

points. Eq. (15) allows to predict the time lapse that an active

draw point can operate without altering the surrounding areas,

previously dilated by operating neighboring draw points, pre-

venting dilution contaminates the draw point. From the point of

view of mining operation, this prediction might be useful in

programming the extraction of material from neighboring draw

points in sublevel caving underground mines, increasing the ore Fig. 3. Two interacting IMZ boundaries centered at xa and xb, the gray region R is

recovery and reducing dilution. the dilated zone of IMZa because of extraction of material from draw point b. Effect

of the amount of material extracted or number of extractions, (left) slightly above

As mentioned above, when the amount of material removed the minimum required to create an interaction, (center) about half of the total

from draw point b is smaller than the minimum required to initiate initially extracted material from draw point a, and (right) about two-thirds of the

the interaction, M b oM nb , it is observed two IMZ boundaries such as total initially extracted material from draw point a.

F. Vivanco, F. Melo / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 60 (2013) 381–388 385

of removed material from draw point b, then the new positions on " ! #1=3

the distorted boundary are given by 3 r 1 ðxb xS Þ1

z¼ z3S þ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp n

ðQ b M b Q b M b Þ : ð17Þ

4 Dr pDP 4DP zS

2 31=3

!

6 3 r 1 ðxb xS Þ2 The region on the boundary of IMZa distorted by the extraction

n 7

x ¼ xb ðxb xS Þ41 þ qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp ðQ b M b Q b M b Þ5 , of material from draw point b is shown in Fig. 3. When the

4 Dr pD z3 4DP zS

P S

intersection between the IMZa and IMZb boundaries is small the

ð16Þ top of IMZa is slightly perturbed, as shown in left panel of Fig. 3.

Fig. 4. Effect on tracer lines due to the alternate extraction. (Top) Non-interacting IMZ boundaries, the tracer lines are deﬂected inside the zone delimited by each IMZ.

(Bottom) The interaction affects zones located outside the IMZ created by draw point b increasing deﬂection of tracer lines previously deviated by extractions from draw

point a. Amount of material extracted from draw point b; (left panels) 20% and (right panels) 80% of the total amount extracted from draw point a.

386 F. Vivanco, F. Melo / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 60 (2013) 381–388

By increasing the volume of removed material from draw point b, conditioned sub-level caving mines with small fragments of rocks

the top of the IMZa boundary is modiﬁed moving upwards and to and relatively low dispersion in fragment size. Thus, the results

the right of its original position, as can be observed from center obtained here can be considered as a ﬁrst approximation to the

and right panels of Fig. 3. As a consequence of the interaction, the optimization of ore recovery in sub-level caving mines. The

IMZa boundary is modiﬁed moving from its original position even results presented can be extrapolated to 3D systems and general-

though no new material is extracted from draw point a. The ized to other type of ﬂows described by more complex models

disturbance observed on the IMZa may contaminate the neighbor- than a kinematic model. To our knowledge, there are no previous

ing draw points affecting the planning of the future extractions. theoretical attempts to account for interacting movement zones.

From the point of view of underground mining, the interaction Lastly, experiments documented in existing literature have

between neighboring draw points might contribute negatively by chosen to focus on the tracer lines deﬂection created by the

redistributing unexpected dilution nearby the operating draw simultaneous extraction instead of alternate extraction of mate-

points. Conversely, this might be beneﬁcial because the interac- rial from neighboring draw points.

tion could relocate ore closer to the active draw points and

facilitate its extraction. In the experiments the effects of the

interaction of draw points are visualized through deﬂection of 5. Conclusions

tracer lines. As mentioned in Section 2, the rock fragments,

forming part of the tracer lines, will start to slide down after The effects on a IMZ boundary due to the extraction of

the dilation front passes by their position. Therefore, the tracer material from a neighboring draw point have been determined

line positions are given by Eqs. (10) and (11). The resulting through the application of modiﬁed 2D kinematic model by

displacement of tracer lines along with the IMZ boundaries including a dilation front. We found that strength of the interac-

created by a couple of neighboring draw points operating in tion depends on the volume of removed material, the lateral

alternate mode are shown in Fig. 4. An initial amount of material, mobility of the rock fragments represented by the diffusion

Q a M a , is extracted from left draw point creating an isolated IMZa coefﬁcient and mainly on the separation distance between draw

boundary and deﬂecting the zone of tracer lines located inside it. points. If the draw points are located far enough to avoid the

After material is removed from right draw point at Qb ratio, the overlap of the individual IMZ, we obtained two IMZ as the one

IMZb boundary and deﬂection zone of tracer lines are created, created by a single isolated draw point. On the other hand, if these

as shown in left panels of Fig. 4. Two different situations are draw points are close enough such that the individual IMZ over-

observed depending on the separation distance between draw lap, then the interaction mainly depends on the volume of

points. First, the separation distance is large enough such that the removed material, or equivalently on the number of extractions

IMZ boundaries do not overlap, it is observed two IMZ boundaries at constant mass rate extraction. There is a critical value for the

similar to the one created by an isolated draw point. Conse- number of extractions, from the second operating draw point,

quently, the tracer lines deﬂection is only localized inside of each where both IMZ share a common point. At this point pass a

IMZ boundary, see top panels of Fig. 4. Second, if draw points are streamline connecting the center of the operating draw point

close enough, the IMZ boundaries overlap. In such case, the model with a point on top of the previously created IMZ boundary. Any

predicts that shape and position of limiting surface located above increment in the number of extractions beyond its critical value

the left draw point change, showing a deﬂection of tracer lines creates perturbations on this top surface, modifying its shape and

outside of the IMZb created by the right draw point, compare right position. The initial shared point is transformed into two points

panels of Fig. 4. As a consequence, material located out of range of delimiting the region affected by removing of material from the

right draw point might be extracted because of the interaction. operating draw point. This region is located out of the range

The effects on the shape of the IMZa modiﬁes the initially dilated covered by the movement zone created by a single isolated draw

region increasing the number of rock fragments allowed to move. point. This effect is observed in the deﬂection of tracer lines

This might have positive or negative consequences depending on located inside the previously created IMZ, as shown in Fig. 4. From

the sort of material affected by the interaction; ore or dilution. the point of view of the underground mining based on sublevel

Therefore, the interaction of neighboring draw points operating in caving, the modiﬁcation of the boundary of an IMZ due to the

alternate mode should be taken into account to improve predic- extractions of material from a neighbor draw point could have

tions on relocation of ore and dilution. signiﬁcant negative effects, because dilution initially located far

from an operating draw point might be carried to the vicinity of

its opening and may eventually contaminate it. Conversely, the

4. Discussion interaction might be beneﬁcial by relocating ore closer to the

region of inﬂuence of a draw point which eventually might be

In previous sections, it has been determined the modiﬁcations recovered. Finally, neglecting the effects created by the interac-

of the IMZ that results from extraction of material from a tion of neighboring draw points might lead to wrong predictions

neighboring draw point and the effect on deﬂection of tracers of rock fragments motion, with negative impact in preventing

lines. The application of these results are limited to a stationary dilution.

systems where the granular material is in a loose packing state.

The calculations are based on a kinematic model modiﬁed with a

Acknowledgments

dilation front because it has been proved that streamlines found

in stationary loose packing granular systems are correctly repro-

duced by the kinematic model [11]. However, the shape of the This work was supported by program ANR-Conicyt ANR-011.

IMZ obtained with the kinematic model with a dilation front F. Vivanco thanks the support from Conicyt through Proyecto

might deviate from the observed in experiments in scale models. PBCT PSD-54.

More complex models that more accurately reproduce the shape

of the IMZ can be introduced in the calculations and it is expected Appendix A. Displacement of rock fragments

that these models will modify the results quantitatively but not

qualitatively. Based on these requirements for the kinematic Let ðxS ,zS Þ and (x,z) be the initial and ﬁnal positions of a rock

model it is expected that the results might be applied to pre- fragment after a time T. If T S o T is the time required by the

F. Vivanco, F. Melo / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 60 (2013) 381–388 387

dilation front to reach the initial position of the rock fragment, with

ðxS ,zS Þ, then TT S is the time that the rock fragments is moving 3 Q ðÞ M ðÞ r

due to the extraction of material from the draw point. This time is AðÞ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ , ðB:2Þ

4 pDP Dr

determined by integrating Eqs. (7) or (8). Replacing the stream-

lines, Eq. (4) into Eq. (7), and integrating between 0 and TS, where ðÞ ¼ a,b labels the draw points and AðÞ is proportional

Z TS Z xS to the volume of the extracted material from each draw point.

Dr pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ3ﬃ 1

dt ¼ 4 pDP c exp ðxx0 Þ2 dx, ðA:1Þ Differentiating Eq. (B.1) with respect to x and assuming that DP

0 r 4DP c 0

and r=Dr are constant during the extraction process, we obtain

we obtain for the time TS, the tangent as

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

4 Dr pDP c3 1 !1

TS ¼ exp ðxS x0 Þ3 : ðA:2Þ dz xxðÞ 3 ½xxðÞ 2

3 r Q0 4DP c ¼ : ðB:3Þ

dx 2DP 2 4DP z

The value of c is determined by the initial position of the rock

fragment, xS, and the center of the draw point, x0, through Now, to determine M nb and ðxn ,zn Þ we use the fact that both IMZ are

c ¼ zS =ðxS x0 Þ2 . Then replacing into Eq. (A.2) we obtain tangent at this point. Then, we have the following conditions:

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ !

4 Dr pDP ½xS x0 2 3=2 z ¼ 4DP C½ðxxa Þ2 ðxxb Þ2 , ðB:4Þ

TS ¼ exp zS : ðA:3Þ

3 r Q0 4DP zS

and

Similarly, replacing the streamlines equation into Eq. (2) and 1

integrating between TS and T z¼ ðxxa Þðxxb Þ, ðB:5Þ

6DP

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ Z x Z T

1

4 pDP c3 exp ðxx0 Þ2 dx ¼ dt, ðA:4Þ where C lnðAa =Ab Þ. Replacing Eq. (B.5) into Eq. (B.4) we obtained

4DP c xS TS

the value of xn as follows:

we obtain the ﬁnal horizontal position, x, of the rock fragment, x þ x x x qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

a b a

2 31=3 xn ¼ þ b 9 þ C 2 3 : ðB:6Þ

! 2 2

2

6 D r 3 1 ½xS x 0 7

x ¼ x0 þ 4 1 þ qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp Q 0 T 5 ðxS x0 Þ,

r 4 4pD z3 4DP zS Then, introducing this value into Eq. (B.5) we calculated the height

P S

at the interaction point which reads

ðA:5Þ qﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ 2

1 xb xa 2 1

where TS and c were replaced by the right hand side of expression zn ¼ 2

9 þC 2 3 : ðB:7Þ

6DP 2 C

(A.3) and zS =ðxS x0 Þ2 . We determined the vertical displacement of

the rock fragment using a similar method. This displacement is These two last expressions deﬁne the intersection point of both

given by IMZ in terms of C which in turns is a function of the unknown

" ! #2=3 number of extractions from draw point b. To determine this

Dr 3=2 3 1 ðxS x0 Þ2

z¼ 1þ zS pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp Q 0T : ðA:6Þ number of extractions we rewrite Eqs. (B.6) and (B.7) introducing

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

r 4 pDP 4DP zS

the variable u ð 9 þC 2 3Þ=C and replace the values of xn and zn

Eqs. (A.5) and (A.6) determine the total displacement of a rock into Eq. (B.1) with ðÞ ¼ a, we obtain an equation to determine the

fragment after Q 0 T volume of material is removed from the draw value of u, it reads

point. In the particular case where the initial position of the rock 2

1 þu 2

fragment is located on the axis of symmetry, xS ¼ x0 , the total ð1u2 Þ exp ¼ 6DP A2=3 a : ðB:8Þ

1u xb xa

displacement of the fragment is determined by x ¼ x0 and

2=3 Let un be the solution of Eq. (B.8), then writing C in terms of u and

Dr 3=2 3 1

z ¼ 1þ zS pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ Q 0 T , ðA:7Þ solving C ¼ lnðAa =Ab Þ for the number of extractions from draw

r 4 pDP

point b, we obtain an expression for the minimum number of

and the time required by dilation front to reach the initial extractions from draw point b in order to both IMZ intersect at one

position of the fragment simpliﬁes to point, it is given by

pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

4 Dr pDP 3=2

Q a 6un

TS ¼ z : ðA:8Þ Mnb ¼

Q M exp

, ðB:9Þ

1un

a

3 r Q0 S b

Appendix B. Intersection of two IMZ number of extractions exceeds the critical value, i.e. M b 4M nb , then

both IMZ intersect at two points. To determine these points we

Let a and b be two neighboring draw points with inﬁnitely intersect the curves that deﬁne each IMZ. The curve for draw point

small apertures, located at ða,0Þ and ðb,0Þ in the plane (x,z), where a is given by

!

b 4a. Then, let assume that Q a M a and Q b Mb are the amount of ½xxa 2

material extracted from draw points a and b after Ma and Mb z3=2 exp ¼ Aa , ðB:10Þ

4DP z

extractions. If the draw points are close enough so that both

isolated IMZ overlap, then there is a point, ðxn ,zn Þ, corresponding

and for draw point b it reads

to a certain number of extractions from the draw point b, M nb , !

where these IMZ are tangent to each other. The IMZ created by ½xxb 2

z3=2 exp ¼ Ab : ðB:11Þ

each draw point are given by Eq. (9), rewriting we have 4DP z

!

½xxðÞ 2

z3=2 exp ¼ AðÞ , ðB:1Þ The values of z at the intersection points are determined by solving

4DP z

Eqs. (B.10) and (B.11) for x and combining the resulting equations,

388 F. Vivanco, F. Melo / International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 60 (2013) 381–388

it reads References

sﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

sﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

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!

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" ! #1=3 PhD thesis. Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland,

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z ¼ z3S þ pﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ exp b S ðQ b M b Q b M nb Þ , ðB:17Þ

4 Dr pDP 4DP zS

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