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Chapter 15

NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT THE GRACE MINE

Giovanni B. Barla
Department of Structural Engineering
Politecnico di Torino
Torino, Italy

Stefan H. Boshkov
Henry Krumb School of Mines
Columbia University
New York, New York

ABSTRACT
The block caving method is examined in this paper on the basis of experimental results and observations in the field, and through the use of numerical
modeling by the Finite Element Method. The Grace Mine, developed by a panel
caving method, served as a reference case. However, the results obtained and
the simulation techniques which have been developed may find useful application
in more general conditions as encountered in other mining operations by block
caving. Following a brief description of the Grace Mine and of the mining
method, the problems associated with the behavior of underground drifts at the
production levels, during undercutting and caving, are addressed. The most
important results obtained through monitoring of strains and loads in the
supports of a runway are discussed, while giving relevance to the sequence of
mining operations in the immediate vicinity. The most important geomechanical
data, as provided for subsequent modeling, are described with reference to:
(a) rock mass characterization and (b) in situ state of stress. Then, the
numerical modeling procedures, developed by the Finite Element Method in order
to predict the caving phenomena and the behavior of underground openings during
undercutting, are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to compare the predictions of the numerical analyses with,the measurements carried out at the
instrumented site. Suggestions as to how to improve the results both qualitatively and quantitatively are also given.

NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT GRACE MINE


INTRODUCTION

no c a s e was v i o l e n t , b u t g r a d u a l and u n r e l e n t i n g .

A s i g n i f i c a n t problem i n mining by BZock Caving


i s t h e e v a l u a t i o n of t h e e f f e c t s o f u n d e r c u t t i n g
and caving on t h e behavior o f underground development and e x t r a c t i o n openings and t h e i r s u p p o r t s
( M e r r i l and Johnson, 1 9 6 4 ) . I n r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e
need t o provide r e l i a b l e s o l u t i o n s t o such a problem, a r e s e a r c h program was c a r r i e d o u t from 1974
through 1979, with t h e Grace Mine, near Reading
( P e n n s y l v a n i a ) , being c o n s i d e r e d a s a u s e f u l exemp l i f i c a t i o n of t h e method ( ~ a r l aand Boshkov, 19791
This program encompassed i n s i t u s t r e s s d e t e r m i
n a t i o n , monitoring of equipment i n s t a l l a t i o n (Agac
wal e t a l . , 1 9 7 3 ) , and subsequent accumulation o f
d a t a from 1974 through 1976. S u b s e q u e n t l y , t h e
f o l l o w i n g o b j e c t i v e s were posed:
1. t o r e l a t e
f i e l d o b s e r v a t i o n s and e x p e r i m e n t a l d a t a t o f i e l d
e x p e r i e n c e , and 2 . t o a t t e m p t t o f i n d a l i n k a g e
between t h e two, through t h e d e s i g n o f a numerical
model based upon t h e F i n i t e Element Method. The
r e s u l t s o f t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n s c a r r i e d o u t a r e described i n the present paper.

MINE DESCRIPTION
The Grace Mine i s s i t u a t e d approximately 1 0 km
s o u t h o f Reading ( ~ e n n s ~ l v a n i a ) U
. p t o t h e end of
1978, a magnetite orebody, w i t h an average t h i c k ness of 100 m , about 400 m wide, h a s been mined a t
a depth o f 700 m by t h e p a n e l c a v i n g method.

FIGURE 1 - Mine p l a n .

?'he o r e v a r i e s from m o d e r a t e l y weak t o moderate


l y s t r o n g . The f o o t w a l l , d i p p i n g approximately 25
degrees t o North-East, i s d i a b a s e , a f i n e g r a i n e d
and r a t h e r competent r o c k . A moderately s t r o n g
q u a r t z i t e form; t h e hanging w a l l .
The mine p l a n
i s shown i n Figure 1, where a completely d e p l e t e d
a r e a i n t h e orebody i s r e p r e s e n t e d , t o g e t h e r w i t h
t h e runways used f o r o r e p r o d u c t i o n . F i g u r e 2 ill u s t r a t e s t h e method o f mining.
Runways (4.5x4.0 m) a r e d r i v e n a l o n g t h e s t r i k e ,
approximately 20 m below t h e o r e - d i a b a s e c o n t a c t .
E n t r i e s (draw p o i n t s ) a r e t u r n e d o f f a t 60 d e g r e e s
each 1 5 m from t h e runway.
Concurrently a d r i f t
(2x3 m) ( u n d e r c u t t i n g d r i f t ) i s d r i v e n p a r a l l e l t o
t h e runway, 11 m t o t h e down-dip s i d e . Access t o
t h i s d r i f t i s secured by d r i v i n g a p i l o t d r i f t
through a t every t h i r d e n t r y . D r a ~ - ~ o i n tasr e
c r e a t e d by en eleven-*,ole i n c l i n e d f a n p a t t e r n
d r i l l e d on 1 . 5 m c e n t e r s t h r o u g h o u t t h e l e n g t h o f
t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g d r i f t . A f t e r a s u f f i c i e n t number
of e n t r i e s a r e completed i n s u p p o r t r e q u i r e m e n t s ,
t h e f a n h o l e s a r e b l a s t e d . Both t h e runways and
e n t r i e s a r e h e a v i l y s u p p o r t e d by r e i n f o r c e d conc r e t e and s t e e l s e t s .
A l l openings experienced l a r g e s t r e s s and deformation changes d u r i n g u n d e r c u t t i n g and c a v i n g .
This r e s u l t e d i n s u p p o r t s f a i l u r e , c o s t l y r e p a i r
o r replacement. I n o r d e r t o a l l e v i a t e t h e s e problems, p r o g r e s s i v e l y h e a v i e r s t e e l s e c t i o n s and
t h i c k e r c o n c r e t e l i n i n g s have been used a t t h e
mine w i t h apparent s m a l l improvement i n r e s u l t i n g
c o n d i t i o n s . No f i x e d p a t t e r n t o t h e f a i l u r e o f
s u p p o r t s could be d e f i n e d . A l s o , t h e f a i l u r e i n

FIGURE 2 - Method o f mining.


S e c t i o n through t h e
runways showing f o o t w a l l and u n d e r c u t .

IXSTRUMENTED RUNWAY
With t h e purpose o f d e t e r m i n i n g t h e l o a d on s t e d
s e t s and s t r a i n s i n t h e c o n c r e t e l i n i n g , it was dec i d e d t o i n s t r u m e n t an o r e h a u l a g e runway (Runway
6 0 9 ~ ,6 t h l e v e l ) , a t tvo a d j a c e n t e n t r i e s t o t h e
caved o r e , a s shown i n F i g u r e 3.
T h i s runway was i n s t r u m e n t e d between November
1 9 7 3 and October 1974 (Agarwal e t a l . , 1 9 7 3 ) . The
equipment i n s t a l l e d i n c l u d e d c o n c r e t e s t r a i n t r a n s m i t t e r s and l o a d c e l l s . The s t r a i n t r a n s m i t t e r s

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NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT GRACE MINE

245

t h a t t h e i n s t r u m e n t a l measurements should be mostly


r e l a t e d t o : ( 1 ) t h e e f f e c t of s t r e s s c o n c e n t r a t i o n
( 2 ) t h e influence of
a t t h e edge of t h e u n d e r c u t ,
t h e a b r u p t changes o f t h e s t r e s s l e v e l i n t h e supp o r t s , a s t h e undercut p a s s e a over t h e d r i f t . No
r e l a t i o n o r l i t t l e i n f l u e n c e was t h e r e f o r e t o be
expected a s due t o t h e weight o f t h e broken magnetite.

MONITORING AT THE INSTRUMENTED SITE


DATA

ANALYSIS OF

Monitoring o f s t r a i n t r a n s m i t t e r s and l o a d c e l l s
a t t h e instrumented runway was i n i t i a t e d j u s t a f t e r
i n s t a l l a t i o n . By January 1974, most of t h e t r a n s ducers could be d e t e c t e d a t given time i n t e r v a l s .
The measurements were c a r r i e d o u t a f t e r t h e incept i o n of undercutting near t h e instrumented s i t e ,
t o t h e end of 1975.
Subsequently, monitoring o f equipment i n s t a l l a t i o n was d i s c o n t i n u e d and measurements were c a r r i e d
o u t i n A p r i l 1976, May i 9 7 7 , and a few t i m e s i n
t h e summer o f 1977, w i t h r e a d i n g s t a k e n on J u l y
1977, l a s t day of o r e p r o d u c t i o n a t t h e mine. The
instrumented s i t e was a l s o v i s i t e d i n May 1978,
a f t e r t h e mine had been c l o s e d down f o r some t i m e .
No readings could be performed, a s t h e m o n i t o r i n g
s t a t i o n appeared t o be damaged beyond r e p a i r .
A number of c e l l s became i n o p e r a t i v e d u r i n g
mining and caving o p e r a t i o n s . I n a few c a s e s , t h e
allowable measurement r a n g e appeared t o be exceeded.
Also, p r i o r t o October 1975, t h e c o n n e c t i r i ~c a b l e s
o f many gages were damaged d u r i n g d r i l l i n g operat i o n s a t t h e s i t e and l a t e r a t t e m p t s a t r e p a i r
were n o t s u c c e s s f u l . I n f a c t , a s e t o f measurements c a r r i e d o u t d u r i n g May 1977 showed t h a t more
than seventy p e r c e n t o f t h e c e l l s i n s t a l l e d a t
t h e s i t e ;;ere no l o n g e r o p e r a t i v e .

FIGURE 5 - R e l a t i v e r o t a t i o n o f changes i n p r i n c i p a l s t r a i n s a t a few l o c a t i o n s a l o n g t h e instrument e d runway. P r i n c i p a l s t r a i n s a t l o c a t i o n 1 0 .

The changes i n t h e v a l u e s o f t h e p r i n c i p a l
s t r a i n s i n t h e c o n c r e t e l i n i n g , e x c e p t f o r a few
l o c a t i o n s , appear t o f o l l o w a n e a r l y s i m i l a r p a t t e r n o f behavior. A t r e n d i n t h e v a r i a t i o n o f t h e
p r i n c i p a l s t r a i n s d i r e c t i o n s d u r i n g mining i s more
d i f f i c u l t t o be r e c o g n i z e d . However, an a t t e m p t
was made a s shown i n F i g u r e 5 , t o g a i n some i n s i g h t s i n t o the general behavior p a t t e r n of t h e
c o n c r e t e l i n i n g . C o n s i d e r a t j o n was g i v e n mainly
t o t h e measurements o f s t r a i n s a t a few l o c a t i o n s
along t h e instrumented runway, s e l e c t e d on t h e
b a s i s o f t h e performance o f s t r a i n c e l l s f o r t h e
complete o b s e r v a t i o n p e r i o d .
The l o a d s a t t h e b a s e o f t h e s t e e l s e t s duri n g mining a r e more r e a d i l y i n t e r p r e t e d t h a n
changes i n s t r a i n i n t h e c o n c r e t e l i n i n g . I n o r der t o o f f e r a comprehensive view o f t h e l o a d i n g
behavior p a t t e r n , t h e r e s u l t s o f measurements a t
a number of l o a d c e l l s a l o n g t h e runway were used
t o e v a l u a t e a t each d a t e a meax v a l u e o f t h e l o a d
a c t i n g a t t h e base of each p o s t ( F i g u r e 6 ) . Again,
t h e c h o i c e of t h e neasured v a l u e s was based mainly
upon t h e l o a d c e l l s which remained a c t i v e d u r i n g
the observation period.
By r e l a t i n g t h e r e s u l t s o f measurements a t t h e

FIGURE 6 - Loads a t t h e b a s e o f s t e e l s e t s shown a s


a mean v a l u e o f t h e measurements t a k e n a t a few l o c a t i o n s ( 2 , 3, 4, 5 , 1 0 , 1 2 ) a l o n g t h e i n s t r u m e n t e d
runway.

GEOMECHANICS APPLICATIONS, UNDERGROUND MINING

246

-!I&:
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i ~ t ~ t i n ;3.nd
;
acdercutting at ~ h e
oOr, ?z?,i, L.-v.il Lit-(;;.::s,ir! t o n f f e c t
s t r a i n val2-s ir, ti;- :,-'ncr.e:il i n i n g , onLy ..rhrn tnr u n d e r c u t t i n g t. i g z , u~ oni: t!,r 1orli:ituuinal '1;r e c t i o n of
t h e r i l n v y , i s rlcar-iy 3t.ove one end o f che i n s t r u :nentei rimway ( i n ti^., irr~meciiate v i c i n i t , y o f t h e El:
e n t r y ) . The s t r a i n s t a t e a t t h e back of t h e runway a p p e a r s ti; b e d e f i n e d uy n e a r l y h o r i z o n t a l cc;n
p r e s s i v e jc2 j a n d r ~ e a r l yv e r t i c a l ( E ~ )t e n s i l e
strains.
2 . The t , e n s i l e s t r a i n ( c l ) genera1l.y i n c r e a s e s
q - a d u a l l y t o r e a c h a maximum v a l u e , where t h e Lind e r c u t p a s s e s o v e r e a c h gage l o c a t i o n . At t h e s c m e
t i m e , ttle c o m p r e s s i v e s t r a i n (2) i n c r e a s e s , t o
d r o p down tg a n e a r z e r o v a l u e , vhen t h e p i l l a r
above e a c h l o c a t i o n i s b l a s t e d .
3. During u n d e r c u t t i n g a t t h e 508 E a s t l e v e l , n
small r e l a t i v e r o t a t i o n of t h e p r i n c i p a l axes o f
s t r a i n / s t r e s s i s o b s e r v e d t o t h e l e f t , when f a c i n g
t h e r o s e t t e a l o n g t h e runway, from e n t r y E 3 t o "'.
C o n v e r s e l y , when u n d e r c u t t i n g i s i n i t i a t e d a t t h e
509 E a s t l e v e l , t h e p r i n c i p a l s t r a i n s / s t r e s s e s g e n
e r a l l y show a d e f i n i t e t r e n d t o r o t a t e t,o t h e
r i g h t , e x c e p t f o r l o c a t i o n 5 . Rowever, i t a p p e a r s
p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s d i f f e r e n t b e h a v i o r c a n be due
t o t h e p r o x i m i t y t o t h e j u n c t i o n w i t h e n t r y E3.
F i n a l l y , when t h e u n d e r c u t a t t h e 605)E a s t l e v e l
i s near t o completion, t h e r e l a t i v e r o t a t i o n t o
tile r i g h t a p p e a r s t o 'ce s i g n i f i c a n t .
Therefore,
a s t h e maximurn p r i n c i p a l s t r a i n tl i n c r e a s e s i n
t e n s i o n , i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e minimum p r i n c i p a l
s t r a i n t 2 i n c r e a s i n ~i n :ompression, a r e l a t i v e rc
t a t i o n t o t h e r i g h t i s observed f o r t h e p r i n c i p s l
strain/sfress direction.
4. I n most i n s t a n c e s , t h e l o a d c e i l s l o c a t e d
near t h e dinbase-nagnetit- contact zppear t o respond p r o m p t l y t o t h e s t r e s s i n c r e a s e t s i i i r l g ? l a c s
a t t h e f a c e o f t h e u n d e r c u t a f t e r f a n ho:es i ~ l a s t i n g a t bot':~ t h e 605 E a s t a n d 639 E a s t i e v e l s .
'5Tht
loads i n t h e :;teei s e t s a r c seen t o i n c r e a s e c r s d g
a l l y w i t h :!:axi::~mi val-es b e i n g a t t a i n e d a f t e r f a n
h o l e s ; e r e 3 l z s t e c i a t t h e h O ] Z a s t Ie7rt:l. A i ~ n g
t h e i n s t r u m e n t e d runway, t h e l o a d t c e l l s loc:3.ted bc
tween t h e two e n : . r i e s and toward t h e ~ m d c r c u % t i r i f :
d r i f t show t h e g r e a t e s t l o a d i n c r e a s e . I n a number
o f c a s e s t h e - e l l s became i n o p e r a t i v e becaus:? t h e
maximum m e a s u r i n g r a n g e was e x c e e d e d . I t i s s i z n i f i c a n t t o not.;. t h a t t h i s t o o k p l a c e f o r 311 tt:c
c e l l s l o c a t e d n e a r t h e j ~ n c t i o n s between runway
and e n t r i e s . A3 t h e u n d e r c u t a i t h e 609 E a s t l e v e l
a p p r o a c h e d t h e c r o s s s e c t i . c n o f g a g e s l o c z l i o n 5hc
l o a d i n c r e a s e d . As t h e s a x e ~ i r ~ d e r c up ta s s e 2 o - ~ e r
and beyond t h i s s a n e c r o s s :;ectiorl, Itle lsitii ;Lt?c r e a s e d a b r u p t l y t o v a l u e s s l i g l i c i y lar.:er
thsn tne
i n i t i a l o n e s , x e a s u r e d a f t e r f a n h o l e s were b l a s t e l
a t t h e 608 E a s t l e v e l .

j ~;;~.;r~.~r*t:,j

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sit,?,
.

GEOiWCHAPJICAL 2ATA
I m p o r t a n t n s s l u n p t i o n s a n 6 c h o i c e s ts be nade i n
t h e f o l l o w i n g a r e c l o s e l y rt?lat,e:i t o n u r l e r i c l l . r:od
cling by t i l e f i n i t e e l e m e n t alethoti. f i a i n l y , t h e
c o n s t i t u t i v e e q u a t i o n s t o be a d o p t e d f o r the des c r i p t i o n o f t h e r o c k mass :jehavior r e q u i r e the
e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e 07;er?ll s t r e n g t h and :ieformzbi-

l i t y p r o p e r t i e s o f vari.mis rock Cornmti:,ns: d<^.ba.;-~~


! c a g n e t i t e and q u a r t z i t e . Furtnrr!nor<:, t r ~ ei n i t , i r :
i n s i t u s t a t e o f s t r e s s i n t h e r o c k n a s s i s 5 3 be
knewn, i f t h e r.esu? t s d e r i v e d by numerics1 modelin::
a r e t o be o f s i g n i f i z a n c e .
I n t h e following SCCt i o n s i he d a t a o b t a i n e d on t h e ~ r a r i o u sa s p e c t s
abo3re a r e b r i e f l y i l h s t r a t e d .

P r o p e r t i e s o f Rock M a t e r i a l s
The d i a b a s e r o c k was a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h overcor i n g c a r r i e d o u t f o r t h e determination of t h e i n
s i t u s t a t e o f s t r e s s . A number o f m a g n e t i t e spec-mens c o u l d be o b t a i n e d by c o r i n g a few b l o c k s i n
These same b l o c k s were d e r i v e d
the laboratory.
from caved o r e a t t h e 6 0 9 ~l e v e l . No specimens
were a v a i l a b l e f o r q u a r t z i t e .
A number o f l a b o r a t o r y t e s t s were c a r r i e d o u t i n
o r d e r t o c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e rock m a t e r i a l s . u n i a x i a l
conpression t e s t s , i n d i r e c t t e n s i l e t e s t s ( ~ r a z i l i a n t e s t s ) , a n d p o i n t l o a d s t r e n g t h t e s t s were p e r
formed. I n a d d i t i o n , e p e t r o g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n
The
was p r o v i d e d f o r d i a b a s e and m a g n e t i t e r o c k s .
m a t e r i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f d i a b a s e and m a g n e t i t e
o.re s u ~ m a r i z e di n T a b l e 1.

Rock Mass
The g e n e r a l g e o l o g y o f t h e orebody was w e l l d o c
lumented a t t h e mine. However, a d d i t i o n a l geomechan
i c a l d a t a on v a r i o u s r o c k f o r m a t i o n s were d e s i r a b l e
f o r a b e t t e r c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f t h e r o c k mass.
It
u a s t h e r e f o r e d e c i d e d t o map and perform s t a t i s t i c a l p l o t s o f t h e j o i n t s and d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s a t s p g
c i f i c s i t e s i n niabase. I n keeping with t h e nature
o f t h e g r e s c r i t work, which was n o t o r i e n t e d s p e c i f i
c n l l y toward t h e e v a l u a t i o n o f o r e c a i - a b i l i t y , no
Four
s t r u c t u r e map was performed i n m a g n e t i t e .
s i t e s were c h o s e n f o r geomechanical mapping, where
t h e w a l l d r i f t s w e r e exposed and no s u p p o r t s i n s t a l l e d . At e a c h s i t e , t h r e e s c a n l i n e s , e a c h app r o x i m a t e l y 1 5 rn i n l e n g t h , were g e n e r a l l y l a i d
down p a r a l l e l t o t h e f l o o r .
The d a t a were c o l l e c t
r d by a n s l y s i n g t h e d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s i n t e r s e c t i n g
t h e scan l i n e .
For e v e r y d i s c o n t i n u i t y , t h e f o l l o w i n g d a t a were
recorded:
a ) a t s t a n c e a l o n g t h e s c a n l i n e , from some datum,
t o t h e p o i n t 3 f i n t e r s e c t i o n w i t h each d i s c o n , .L,.
LLAity.
i:) S t r i k e and d i p of e a c h : i i s z o n t i n u i ? , y . Sach
azimuthal bearing i s given with respect t o the
Y o r t h cnd o f 'he compass n e e d l e .
2 ) ;&ether
o r n o t t h e d i s c o n t i n u i t y i s open and by
how much.
dl 'Xhether o r n o t i n f i l l i n g m a t e r i a l i s p r e s e n t i n
t h e open j o i n t s .
e l Z s t i m a t e 3 f t h e n a t u r e 3 f t h e d i s c o n t i n u i t y ma;t
ir:g s u r l ' a c e s
Waviness and s u r f a c e c h a r a c t e r
of' t h e s a n e s u r f a c e s .
I

I n order t o gain i n anderstanding of the orientations of j o i n t


s e t s i n t h e d i i b a s e r o c k mass,
t h e d a t a c o l l e c t e d a t t h e f o x r s i t , e s were superim-

NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT GRACE MINE


TABLE 1 - R e s u l t s o f l a b o r a t o r y t e s t s

Diabase

Magnetite

Density ( y d )
Grain Density ( y g )
Porosity ( n l
Sonic v e l o c i t y ( v R )
Compressive S t r e n g t h ( Co)
T e n s i l e S t r e n g t h ( T,)
S t r e n g t h Index ( I s )
Tangent Modulus ( E) ~
Tangent Poisson R a t i o ( v t )

Note:

x = mean v a l u e ;

n = number o f t e s t s ;

s = standard deviation

posed a p p r o p r i a t e l y a s shown i n F i g u r e 7. The following o b s e r v a t i o n s can be made:


( a ) t h r e e dominant j o i n t p l a n e o r i e n t a t i o n s a r e g e n e r a l l y e v i denced a t each s i t e ; ( b ) t h e p r e f e r e n t i a l t r e n d
i n d i c a t e s a j o i n t family t o be n e a r l y v e r t i c a l and
c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a s t r i k e N 10'-30'
E; ( c ) t h e
main t r e n d s o f d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s a r e : (1) s t r i k e N
lo0-30' E, dipping 80 t o t h e E; ( 2 ) s t r i k e S
1 9 0 ~ - 2 1 0W
~ , dipping 80' t o t h e W ;
( 3) s t r i k e E
120'-130 S , dipping 45O t o t h e N-E.
The average spacing o f d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s and f r a c
t u r e s ranges from a minimum o f approximately 1 0 cm
a t t h e 604 and 607 E a s t s i t e s , t o a maximum of 20
cm a t t h e 612 E a s t s i t e . J o i n t s and d i s c o n t i ~ u i t i e s a r e g e n e r a l l y w e l i d e f i n e d and p l a n a r . They
e x h i b i t good r e g u l a r i t y and smooth mating s u r f a c e s .
Occasionally, c l a y o r c a l c i t e i n f i l l i n g s a r e p r e s e n t . Most j o i n t s a r e t i g h t and where s e p a r a t i o n
i s apparent i t i s g e n e r a l l y l e s s t h a n 5 mm

I t should be observed t h a t t h e f r a c t u r e s p a c i n g
a s determined above i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e ofa;:L discont i n u i t i e s a t each s i t e , a s evidenced on t h e 7,laZLs
of openings which remained unsupported f o r conside r a b l e l e n g t h o f time a f t e r e x c a v a t i o n . Therefore,
t h i s spacing cannot be used d i r e c t l y t o d e r i v e t h e
diabase rock mass q u a l i t y . I n -any c a s e , it i s o f
i n t e r e s t t o observe t h a t t h e RQD index e s t i m a t e d
on t h e b a s i s o f a l l f r a c t u r e s on t h e w a l l s u r f a c e
would range from a minimum o f approximately 45 p e r
c e n t t o a maximum o f approximately 98 p e r c e n t .

FIGURE 7 - D e n s i t y diagram of d i s c o n t i n u i t y d a t a .
Cumulative a n a l y s i s ( 6 0 4 , 607, 612, 613 E l e v e l s ) .
Higher numerals and l e t t e r s (A,B) s t a n d f o r h i g h e r
density values.

In S i t u State of Stress

I t may a l s o be h e l p f u l , i n view o f t h e need t o


e s t i m a t e t h e rock mass q u a l i t y , t o remark t h a t t h e
higher v a l u e s o f RQD, a s d e r i v e d on t h e b a s i s o f
t h e f r a c t u r e spacing ( a l l d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s b e i n g
i n c l u d e d ) , a r e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s i t e s where no mini n g a c t i v i t i e s ( u n d e r c - u t t i n g and c a v i n g ) were y e t
s t a r t e d . I n a d d i t i o n , t h e measurements of RQD,
c a r r i e d o u t d u r i n g t h e i n s i t u s t r e s s determinat i o n by t h e overcoring method, gave f o r t h e d i a base rock v a l u e s always h i g h e r t h a n 95 p e r c e n t
(Agarwal e t a l . , 1 9 7 3 ) . I n c o n c l u s i o n , one may
expect t h e d i a b a s e rock mass t o be o f ezceZZent
quaZity (90-100 p e r c e n t RQC).

The i n s i t u s t a t e o f s t r e s s i n t h e a r e a o f i n t e ~
e s t was determined by u s i n g t h e U.S.B.M. t h r e e component b o r e h o l e deformation gage method. The measg
rement s i t e was s e l e c t e d t o be i n t h e v i c i n i t y o f
t h e i n s t r u m e n t e d o p e n i n g , a t a depth o f a p p r o x i m a t e
l y 700 rn below t h e ground s u r f a c e ( F i g u r e 1) . The
measurements were c a r r i e d o u t by Agarval e t 61.
(1973).
The s t r e s s components were c a l c u l a t e d on t h e
b a s i s o f 36 d e f o r m a t i o n measurements. With r e f e r ence t o a XYZ c a r t e s i a n c o o r d i n a t e system ( t h e X
a x i s i s along t h e East d i r e c t i o n , t h e Y a x i s i s
a l o n g t h e North d i r e c t i o n , and t h e Z a x i s i s v e r t i c a l ) , t h e s t r e s s e l l i p s o i d c a l c u l a t i o n s gave:

GEOMECHANICS APPLICATIONS, UNDERGROUND MINING

248

where a,, a;, and 0:.a r e t h e ncirrnal co:!~~onenT,s31'


t h e i n s i t u s t r e s s t e n s o r ; T , ~ , T,,,
and
aye
t h e s h e a r i n g coinponents; A o i j a r e * t h e c o r r e s p o n d ing stsndard 4eviations;
c o m p r e s s i v e normal s t r e s s
components a r e reckoned t o b e p o s i t i v e .

NUMERICAL i4ODELIBG
The main p u r p o s e o f t h e n u n e r i c a l m o d e l i n p wsrk,
c a r r i e d o u t by means o f t h e F i n i t e Element i~lethod
(FEM), was t o a n a l y s e t h e s t r e s s and d e f o r r c a t i o n
changes around t h e runways, w i t h t h e main i n t e r e s t
b e i n g c e n t e r e d upon t h e i n s t r - & r e n t e d s i t e a t t i l e
609 E a s t l e - r e l . The n u m e r i c a l p r o c e d u r e f i n a l 1 y
a d o p t e d c o n s i s t e d o f t h e fol.lowing ('1:

FIXED

FIGURE 8

1. Use o f a two d i m e n s i o n a l model (340~11)


, def i n e d on t h e b a s i s o f c r o s s s e c t i o n AA, a s t a k e n
t h r o u g h t h e i n s t r w n e n t e d o p e n i n g ( F i g u r e s I nnd :+!.
S i m u l a t i o n o f t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g and .-ring
processes.

- ?EM LWO d i m e n s i o n a l model (TWODI1) used


t o r e p r e s e n t t h e c r o s s s e c t i o n AA. S i m u l a t i o n of
unfiercutt,ing an3 caving processes.

2. Adoption o f a " s u b s t r u c t u r e scheme" rrlodel


(TWODI~),w i t h t h e p u r p o s e o f accountin:: for. ~ , t e
s t r e s s e s i n d u c e d by c a v i n g i n tile n r n a 3i i n i e r e s t ,

lnit,iai Stress Distribution

i n o r d e r t o e - i x l u a t e t h e j e n e r r t l bch:lvior p - t ! . f r n
o f t h e s u p p o r t s t r u c : t u r e s durini: u:ld.;rcuttint; ?:!,I
caving.

The i n i t i a l z t a t e o f s t r e s s i n t h e FEM model was


a s s m e d t o b e he sdne a s t h e one determined by t h e
o v e r c o r i n g method.
T h i s s t a t e o f s t r e s s was defined
tc b e , w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h e ground s t r e s s t e n s o r
(r!osr ini!icar;ed a s uYj f o r convenient?)

Underc:~t,ting and "aving


Tile c a v i n g o f t h e Gracc Mixe orebody :J-;
i:~v,?:t i g a t e d on t h e b s s i s o f a r e a s o n a b l e ; ~ e o : ; , e - r i c a l
scheme a n 3 a s e t o f m a t e r i a l p r o g e r t i e s Ccr --hi
r o c k mass invo1ve.i.
C l o s e a t t e n t i o n had ;,2 i)r. p o i ?
t o r e l a t i n g L . a v i n g t o a v a i l a b l e i n f ' o r m a t i s n o:,
~ i n i n g:%nd u~lndercu:s i : ? ~
sequence;.
Cii:?si,ier:~t1.":
was a l s o g i v e n t o t h e p r o g r e s s i o n o f c a v i n g :I?:.t u r b a n c e s a t t h e c r o o n d sur'sce.

A p l a n e s t r a i n two dimensional xo;el (7.;;;:;


was p r e p a r e d a s shown i n F i g u r e 8 on t h e j a s i ; &>!~
t h e c r o s s s e c t i o n above.
T h i s a ~ o d e l-&-as c r e h t c i !
i n o r d e r t o r e p r o d u c e a c c a r a t e l g - t h e knavn ;;t.io,u:;y
a t t h e sii,c.
A l s o , t h e p r e s e n c e .;f' -r-r'.-,:i.
.'
.:-.:I-i n g s t o be d e v e l o p e d was accour,r.e3 :'or sii L n z t tr.\,
s i m u l a t i o n o f t h e m i n i n g a c t i v i t i e s c-.uid ',- #.i'f e c t e d a c c o r d i n g t o a r e a s o n a b l e sci!i:n;e.

.;,e:.e

t:r!~

:y-

-30:

?i:::ite system use'

:-,

sI!own

I 2

F i g u r e 1.

By cie:'inir,g a new m o r d i n a t e system xyz, chosen


witn the
plan- being located i n the cross sectior.
.kA ( F i g l r e 1 ! i e . t h a t o f t h e two i',imensional msdel
or' E'qure
t h e st,ste of s t r e c s , a t a death of
703 n: below
ground s u r f a c e , i s d e f i n e d by t h e
follnwini: cornponerts

e),

< .

Uc.

Addi tionaZZy, a new two 2irnensicfiaL r c s ' I


~

It. v i l _ :!e n o t e : t!?a% t r - 1 ~xyz ~ : a o r d i n a ' , ~system) is

(TWODI3) ljas creatdci ;^or t n e nrciz ariiund>: " , ;


dt/9
East entry, ~ i t hthe presence oJ the sv,-zoz7i -..
- I , ..
,.-

:,:>tate:?,
:,rith re;;pect, :s t n e o r i g i n a l xyz sy.:tem, t o
.
t:le srres:: e l l i p s o i d c a l c a l . a t i o r l s were r e f e r ,.--: f,;) ? ~ r i - k : :he b o r e h o l e , i e f c r m z t i o n gag? :seasurc
!II~:I,:r .

( O )

tern being :;imuZnted 2'71 detlz-iZ. ?hi.; same


was subjected t o a s t r e s s stat,. i ~ h i c h-,,a,- c ; l ~ i i g ? ~ ,
a feu iimes i n order t o unclyne chi. str'-.i..;.i;. ~ i suzting i n tile rnins suppor2t ! B a ~ i aanJ Bc7ssikov,
1979).

.- ,. .

,,,AIC:i

3 i e i r i i i i , r l i;-.ress i < e l . d ( y and :: ci>nponrnts)


+';a

FA?" --;-I: .iimonsi,,na!

(3:
pp! a n z )

in

- J ~ St h e r e -

NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT GRACE MINE


f o r e e v a l u a t e d t o be a s f o l l o w s :

troduced on t h e b a s i s o f t h e f o l l o w i n g c r i t e r i o n

where

where
o3 =.minimum p r i n c i p a l s t r e s s ; To = rock mass
t e n s l l e s t r e n g t h ; t e n s i l e s t r e s s e s a r e reckoned
t o be n e g a t i v e .

f o r y = rock mass s p e c i f i c g r a v i t y and v = P o i s s o n ' s


r a t i o . A d d i t i o n a l l y , t h e d i r e c t i o n 8 o f t h e maximum p r i n c i p a l s t r e s s a t each p o i n t i n t h e
plane
was assimed t o be c o n s t a n t , so t h a t :

A few c o n s i d e r a t i o n s were needed i n o r d e r t o def i n e t h e s t r e n g t h and d e f o r m a b i l i t y p r o p e r t i e s of


t h e v a r i o u s rock formations i n t h e FEM model. NO
f i e l d d a t a b e i n g a v a i l a b l e , t h e s e p r o p e r t i e s were
e s t i m a t e d on t h e b a s i s of l a b o r a t o r y parameters and
t h e degree o f f r a c t u r i n g f o r t h e rock mass a s
shown i n Table 2 . The deformation modulus Ed was
e v a l u a t e d by t h e r e d u c t i o n f a c t o r Rd

20 = tan-1

27"
2
-o0 - 0;

(8)

According t o ( 4 ) and ( 6 ) , t h e h o r i z o n t a l s t r e s s i n
t h e model i s assumed t o be zero a t t h e s u r f a c e and
t o v a r y a t t h e depth a c c o r d i n g t o a s t r a i g h t l i n e
f u n c t i o n . Tkis assumption i s i n t r o d u c e d a s t h e
s p e c i f i c n a t u r e of t h e s t r e s s f i e l d a t t h e s i t e
i s unknown. Obviously, t h e s t r e s s e s e v a l u a t e d i n
t h e model a r e g r e a t l y a f f e c t e d by t h i s c h o i c e .
Therefore, it i s suggested t h a t i n subsequent
s t u d i e s new assumptions be made on t h e i n i t i a l
s t r e s s f i e l d i n t h e model so t h a t t h e r e l e v a n c e
of it on t h e g e n e r a l p a t t e r n o f b e h a v i o r be a s s e s sed.

M a t e r i a l Models
I n view o f t h e m a t e r i a l b e h a v i o r e x p e r i e n c e d i n
t h e l a b o r a t o r y and according t o r o c k mechanics
p r a c t i c e , t h e following laws were chosen f o r t h e
rock media e n t e r i n g t h e FEM model:

where
El = rock mass deformation modulus; Et = e l a s t i c
t a n g e n t modulus f o r rock m a t e r i a l .
S i m i l a r l y , t h e r o c k mass peak v a l u e f o r t h e cohes i o n a l s t r e n g t h cm was e s t i m a t e d by t h e r e d u c t i o n
f a c t o r Rs

where
c , = rock mass c o h e s i o n ; c;= rock m a t e r i a l cohesion.
A p p r o p r i a t e v a l u e s f o r Rd and Rs were e v a l u a t e d on
t h e b a s i s o f : RQD = Rock Q u a l i t y Designation and
RMR = Rock Mass R a t i n g , f o r Rd ( ~ e e r ee t a l . , 1969;
Bieniawski, 1 9 7 8 ) ; Jf = number o f j o i n t s p e r m ,
f o r Rs (Manev and Avramova-Tacheva, 1 9 7 0 ) .
F i n a l l y , t h e deformation modulus Ed, t h e %isson's
r a t i o n vd, t h e m a t e r i a l c o n s t a n t s C o , To, A , B ent e r i n g e q u a t i o n s ( 9 ) and ( 1 0 ) were chosen a s r e p o r t e d i n Table 3.

S i m u l a t i o n o f U n d e r c u t t i n g and Caving

- Biiine.:ai3 l i ? ~
,'or magnetite :

t h e assumption o f
i d e a l p l a s t i c i t y was made , w i t n t h e s t r e s s
l e v e l i n compression - where l i n e a r e l a s t i c i t y
does n o t hold t r u e - d e f i n e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e f o l lowing c r i t e r i o n (Bieniawski, 1 9 7 8 ) :

where
Tm = maximum s h e a r s t r e s s ;
on = mean normal
s t r e s s ; Co = rock mass u n i a x i a l compressive
s t r e n g t h ; A,B = mat,erial c o n s t a n t s .

T r i l i n e a r model w i t h s o f t e n i n g behavior fofor


diabase and q u a r t z i t s :
t h e assumption o f a p e c

f e c t l y b r i t t l e m a t e r i a l was made; t h e peak s t r e s s


l e v e l i n compression was d e f i n e d by e q u a t i o n ( 9 )
with t h e C o , A, S paraineters chosen a s t h e pep&
v a l u e s ; t h e r e s i d u a l s t r e s s l e v e l was a g a i n d e t e r
mined on t h e b a s i s o f ( 9 ) above, w i t h t h e u n i a x i a l
compressive s t r e n g t h assumed t o be one-half o f t h e
corresponding peak s t r e n g t h .
I n both models above, a t e n s i o n c u t - o f f was i n -

The u n d e r c u t t i n g and c a v i n g o p e r a t i o n s above t h e


d i a b a s e f o o t w a l l were s i m u l a t e d by a mixed ( i n c r e m e n t a l - i t e r a t i v e ) FEM procedure.
The main p u r p o s e
i n developing a s i m u l a t i o n t e c h n i q u e which c o u l d be
a c c e p t a b l e , was t o induce f a i l u r e i n t h e m a g n e t i t e
orebody, a c c o r d i n g t o t h e g e n e r a l behavior p a t t e r n
which c o u l d b e p r e d i c t e d by a n a l y s i n g t h e o r e production d a t a a s reported i n t h e previous pages.
Three d i f f e r e n t p r o c e d u r e s were a p p l i e d a s fOllown ( F i g u r e 9 ) :

(i) A s t e p by s t e p e x c a v a t i o n a t t h e u i d e r c u t t i n g
l e v e l was s i m u l a t e d , w i t h t h e u n d e r c u t moving downward and a l o n g t h e d i a b a s e f o o t w a l l . The a r e a s
where f a i l u r e o c c u r r e d a t one s t e p ( i - t h s t e p ) were
r e c o r d e d ; t h e s t r e n g t h and d e f o r m a b i l i t y p r o p e r t i e s o f t h e s e same a r e a s were reduced a c c o r d i n g l y ,
b e f o r e c a r r y i n g o u t a new s i m u l a t i o n s t e p ( i + l - t h
s t e p ) , Figure 10.
( 2 ) A s t e p by s t e p e x c a v a t i o n a t t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g l e v e l was a g a i n s i m u l a t e d a s d e s c r i b e d above.
I n a d d i t i o n t o r e d u c i n g t h e s t r e n g t h and deforma-

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NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT GRACE MINE


bility properties in the failed areas, the undercutting level just excavated in one step was given
a non zero stiffness in subsequent steps, so as to
allow for the presence of fractured magnetite not
yet drawn, Figure 11.

The presence of the boundary cuts in the model


was accounted for by reducing accordingly strength
and deformability properties in the areas pertaining to them. Also reduced was the deformability
in the diabase rock mass where fans, runways, and
entries were known to be located according to the
cross section being analysed and the scheduled
progression of workings (Figure 4).
The procedure implied that the stresses at nodes
of the elements along the excavation boundary be
evaluated and the stiffness of the elements in the
excavated area be reduced to a near zero value.
Once these stresses were obtained, one was able to
calculate the nodal forces which, when reversed in
sign, reproduced the effect of material removal.
A similar method was also used in simulation method (3), in order to evaluate the nodal forces along
the boundary of the failed (caved) area.

B
E-

apply excavation force F2


reduce Ed.Co in caved area
s~rnibrlyfor tolbwing
steps

FIGURE 11 - Schematic representation of simulation


method (2), used in order to account for the under
cutting and caving processes.
(3) In addition to simulating the excavation
,
along the undercut, nodal forces at the boundary
of the failed (caved) area were applied from one
step to the next one, in order to account for mate
rial removal. Also, the elements in the same
failed areas and pertaining to the undercut being
created in each step were given non zero weight
and no11 zero stiffness, Figure 12.

According to the geometry of the cross section


being analyzed and the number of fans and runways
included in it (lo), in each case the numerical
calculations were carried out by performing 10 incremental steps in succession. The results for
displacements, strains, and stresses in one step
were used as the starting point for the next step.
Obviously, before processing any calculation step,
the boundary of the undercut to be created, the
failed areas, new boundary cuts, runways, and fans
to be accounted for, were specified.
It is observed that in each simulation step the
numerical analysis needed to be carried out by an
iterative procedure, in order to solve the non lin
ear problems posed by the stress-strain laws as
postulated for the different rock media. The initidl stress method was applied according to the
finite element formulation used by various Authors,
Zienkiewicz (1977).
Numerical Results
A number of F E M analyses were carried out by
using the TWODI1 model and the three simulation
methods as explained above. The main purpose of
these analyses was as follows:

excation forces Sapplied on


the boundary of caved area
trom previous step+undercut
reduce Ed.Co in caved area
caved ore trom previous step
with.50W

& slrnilarly for

following steps

1. To find which of the three simulation techniques is the most acceptable, on the basis of the
history and progression of caving, as deduced according to the ore production data.
2. To develop a displacement history during
undercutting and caving, later to be used to investigate the behavior of the runways and their
supports, according to the substructure scheme.
The simulation method ( 3 ) appeared to be the
most effective one, with respect to the predicted
extent of caving (~igure13) in the magnetite orebody. Therefore, in relating the caving process
to the behavior of mine supports, this same method
was considered.

FIGURE 12 - Schematic representation of simulation


method (3), used in order to account for the undec
cutting and caving processes.

252

GEOMECHANICS APPLICATIONS, UNDERGROUND MINING


t u r e " ) t h e a r e a of i n t e r e s t , w,'iere t h e oneninqr. to
be a n a l y s e d i n J e , z < l a r e l o c a t l e d . This i d e a l i z a t i o n s i ~ o u l i ?a c c o u n t f o r : '"he s u p p o r t s t o be i n s i a i l e u ; t n e openings p e r t a i n i n g t o t h e a r e a
create,^ i c s u c h a nanner t h s t t h e a c t u a l excava~,lo:l s e q u e n c e t h a t t o o k p l a c e a t t h e n i n e c z n be
r e p r e s e r i t e d , a l s o i n accordance w i t h t h e ~ i n u l a t i o n
s t e p s p r e v i o u s l y c a r r i e d o u t f o r t h e complete :node l ) ; p r o v i s i o n s f o r s p e c i f y i n g a known d i s p l a c e men+, f i e l d a t t h e o u t e r boundary.
A .

b ) P. f i r s t computation s t e p - o r a s e r i e s of
c o m p u t a t i o n s t e p s - i n v o l v i n g t h e s i m u l a t i o n of
e x c a v a t i o n o f t h e mine o p e n i n g s i n t h e s e c t i o n ( a t
t h i s s t a g e o n l y t h e runways and u n d e r c u t t i n g d r i f t s
a r e r e p r e s e n t e d ; t h e y a r e supposed t o b e d r i v e n i n
advance w i t h r e s p e c t t o f a n h o l e s b l a s t i n g and und e r c u t t i n g i n t h e same a r e a o f i n t e r e s t ) .

FIGURE13 - C o n t o u r s o f m o b i l i z e d s t r e n g t h R m ( - ) .
S i m u l a t i o n method (3). Type B p a r a m e t e r s . S t e p no.
1 0 . The s h a d e d a r e a snows t h e l i m i t c o n d i t i o n f o r
R, = 0 . 9 .

c ) A s e r i e s o f computation s t e p s where t h e known


d i s p l a c e m e n t s a r e imposed on t h e o u t e r b o u n d a r i e s of
t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e , according t o t h e h i s t o r y derived
d u r i n g t h e s i m u l a t i o n o f u n d e r c u t t i n g . The e l e ments r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e s u p p o r t s a r e a c t i v a t e d and
t h e progress o f excavation of t h e fans i s simulated
by " t u r n i n g o f f " he a p p r o p r i a t e e l e m e n t s ( i. e . a t
t r i b u t i n g t o them a s m a l l s t i f f n e s s i n t h e f o r n i l l a
t i o n of t h e global s t i f f n e s s matrix of the substrug
t u r e ) . I t i s t h i s sequence o f s t e p s which w i l l
a l l o w t h e s t r e s s e s developed i n t h e mine s u p p o r t s
t o he evaluated.

S t r e s s e s ir, t h e [,line S u p p o r t s d u r i n g Z n d e r c u t t i n g
and Caving
As shown a b o v e , t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g s e q u e n c e and
c a v i n g p r o c e s s were s i m n l a t e d by FEM, i n c o n j u n a t i o n ;rit:i t h e development o f mine workings i n t h e
T h i s a l l o w e d one t o g a i n i n diabase footwall.
s i g h t intr: t h e p a t t e r n of' s t r e s s d i s t r i b u t i o r : i n
m a g n e t i t e and i i n b a s e . Then, t h e p u r v o s e sras ;o
r e l a t e c a v i n g t o tile b e h a v i o r o f n i n e s u p p o r t ; .

Tne s u b b s r u c t u r e scheme
A m o d e l i n g t e c h n i q u e v a s Geveloped, by t l t c u s e
of' he c o a r s e t o f i n e s u b d i v i s i o n r.iethod i n f i n i i , ~
e l e l l e n t a n a l y s i s . According t o t h e s u b s t r u a t ~ r e
scheme i l l u s t r a t . e d i n F i ~ u r el b , t h e a r e a o r I n t e c
e s t i n t h e FdODI1 model ( i n t h e i m L e d i a t c : v i c i n i t y
o f t h e 609 E r u n w a y ) , need b e s u b d i v i d e d i n a f i n e
mesh, s o a s t o z a n f o r n a s c l o s e l y a s p o s s i b l ? to
t h e s e q u e n c e o f m i n i n g and i n s t a l l a t , i o n o f s ~ p p ~ r t s

V i t h t h e s i r n u l a t i a n nett!od (3), adoptct3 i i r ; orcier


t o r e p r e s e n t , t h ? u n d e r c u t , t i n g o p e r a t i o n , one i.;
able t o obtain a specified h i s t o r y of displscemects
d i c t a t e d by t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g s e q u e n c e a n d c a v i n g ,
w h i l e a c c o u n t i n g f o r t h e p r e s e n c e o f t h e mine o p e n
i n g s by a p p r o p r i a t e m o d i f i c a t i o n o f the m a t e r i a !
p r o p e r t i e s o f t h e elements involved. It i s t h i s
d i s p l a c e m e n t h i s t o r y which i s t o be used a s A:
means f o r p e r f o r m i n g t h e FEM a n a l y s e s o f t h e substructure.
I n summary, t h e method i n v o l v e s t h e fol!.owing
( F i g u r e 11+)
:
a ) To r e 7 r e s e n t by a r e f i n e d mesh ( t h e "subs-,r.ilc
-

SUBSTRI
MODEL

,-"

MODEL

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -- -

I
I

I
I

'

simulation of
rts inst-

history---( step by step)

MINE MODEL
ANALYSIS

on ABCD
(step by step)--sirnulate fans creation

SUBSTRUCTURE ANALYSIS

FIGURE 1 5 - S c h e ~ n a t i cr e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e 111ethod
used i n o r d e r t o analyze t h e s t r e s s p a t t e r n result,
i n g i n t n e mine s u p p o r t s d u r i n g c a v i n g .

NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT GRACE MINE


The S u b s t r u c t u r e Model (TWODI2)
The f i n i t e element mesh a d o p t e d f o r t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e ( T W O D I ~model) i s r e p o r t e d i n F i g u r e 1 5 .
I t i s noted t h a t , i n a d d i t i o n t o plane elements
f o r t h e r o c k mass and t h e s u p p o r t s , j o i n t e l e m e n t s
a r e used i n order t o r e p r e s e n t t h e rock-concrete
i n t e r f a c e b e h a v i o r , by a l l o w i n g f o r debounding and
o r s l i p p a g e . A l s o , t r u s s boundary e l e m e n t s a t t h e
nodes a l o n g t h e ABCD p e r i p h e r y a r e i n t r o d u c e d , t o
allow f o r displacement c o n s t r a ; n t s .

so t h a t t h e rock-structure interaction f o r t h i s r u g
way i s now c o n s i d e r e d i n d e t a i l . At t h e same t i m e
t h e e l e m e n t s o f t h e 609 E a s t e n t r y and o f t h e two
undercutting d r i f t s i n t h e substructure a r e p a r t i a l
l y t u r n e d o f f , by a s s i g n i n g t o them a d e f o r m a b i l i t y
which i s g r e a t e r t h a n t h a t o f t h e s o l i d r o c k . The
boundary e l e m e n t s a r e a c t i v e and t h e d i s p l a c e m e n t s
a t t h e periphery o f t h e substructure a r e specified
t o b e t h e same a s t h o s e computed w i t h t h e f i r s t
s t e p i n t h e s i m u l a t i o n o f u n d e r c u t t i n g and c a v i n g .
With t h e s e c o n d s t e p t h e a s s u m p t i o n is made t h a t
t h e e x c a v a t i o n and i n s t a l l a t i o n of s u p p o r t s a t t h e
6 0 8 E a s t runway and a t t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g d r i f t s i n
t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e a r e e f f e c t e d n e a r l y a t t h e same
The s e q u e n c e o f e x c a v a t i o n - t h e 6 0 8 t h runtime.
way completed s u b s e q u e n t l y t o t h e 6 0 9 t h runway c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h a t which t o o k p l a c e i n r e a l i t y as
shown i n F i g u r e 4. However, it s h o u l d b e n o t e d
t h a t t h e presence of t h e supports, except f o r t h e
609 E a s t e n t r y , a r e n o t r e p r e s e n t e d i n d e t a i l .
I n any c a s e , t h e s i m u l a t i o n o f t h e excavation
s e q u e n c e and o f t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n o f s u p p o r t s need
n o t b e t h e same a s r e p r e s e n t e d above. A more det a i l e d a n a l y s i s c o u l d b e p e r f o r m e d by a more r e f i n e d mesh f o r t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e , i n c l u d i n g t h e
i d e a l i z a t i o n o f e a c h s u p p o r t . I n a d d i t i o n , more
t h a n one s i n g l e s t e p o f c o m p u t a t i o n c o u l d b e p e r formed.
I n s t e p 3 t o 5 t h e p r o g r e s s o f undercutting and
o f f a n s e x c a v a t i o n i s s i m u l a t e d by p a r t i a l l y t u r n i n g o f f t h e a p p r o p r i a t e e l e m e n t s and s p e c i f y i n g t h e
known d i s p l a c e m e n t h i s t o r y a t t h e p e r i p h e r y o f t h e
substructure.
Subsequently, t h e remaining s t e p s 6
t o 1 0 i n v o l v e t h e s o l u t i o n o f t h e non l i n e a r e q u i l i b r i u m e q u a t i o n s w i t h no need t o r e f o r m u l a t e t h e
global s t i f f n e s s matrix.
The m a t e r i a l p r o p e r t i e s and t h e non l i n e a r beh a v i o r o f t h e d i a b a s e r o c k mass a r e t h e same a s
p r e v i o u s l y chosen f o r t h e a n a l y s i s o f t h e c o m p l e t e
TWODIl model. The s t e e l - c o n c r e t e s u p p o r t s a r e
s u p p o s e d t o behave a c c o r d i n g t o a l i n e a r e l a s t i c
law f o r t h e complete s t r e s s f i e l d experienced duri n g u n d e r c u t t i n g and c a v i n g .

FIGURE 1 5 - FEM twc? d i m e n s i o n a l model t o b e u s e d


f o r t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e a n a l y s i s . F i n a l model ( ~ 0 ~ 1 2 ) . Numerical R e s u l t s

The e n t i r e sequence o f c a l c u l a t i o n s t e p s i s
summarized i n T a b l e 4. Computation b e g i n s w i t h
t h e e n t i r e model r e p r e s e n t i n g s o l i d r o c k . The i n t e r n a l s t r e s s e s a r e introduced d i r e c t l y i n t h e rock
e l e m e n t s and a r e supposed t o b e t h e s a n e a s t h e
n a t u r a l s t r e s s e s , p r e v i o u s l y c h o s e n f o r t h e TWODI1
model. The 609 E a s t runway i s e x c a v a t e d by u s i n g
a s i r n u l a t i o n p r o c e d u r e which c o n s i s t s o f a p p l y i n g
boundary e x c a v a t i o n f o r c e s and a s s i g n i n g n e g l i g i b l e
s t i f f n e s s e s t o t h e e l e m e n t s Of t h e a r e a t o b e excavated, so t h a t t h e c o n t r i b u t i o n of t h e s e elements
t o the global s t i f f n e s s o f t h e substructure w i l l be
nearly zero.
The second s t e p of t h e c o m p u t a t i o n i n v o l v e s t h e
i n s t a l l a t i o n o f t h e s u p p o r t o f t h e 609 E a s t runway.
Both t h e i n t e r f a c e a n 3 s u p p o r t e l e m e n t s a r e a c t i v e ,

The n u m e r i c a l r e s u l t s o f t h e ?'EM a n a l y s e s , r u n
a c c o r d i n g t o t h e scheme a b o v e and b a s e d upon t h e
d i s p l a c e m e n t h i s t o r y o f t h e s i m u l a t i o n method ( 3 ) ,
a r e i l l u s t r a t e d i n F i g u r e 1 6 f o r s t e p no. 9 , by
giving t h e contours o f mobilized strength i n t h e
r o c k mass.
I n o r d e r t o g a i n some i n s i g h t i n t o t h e s t r e s s e s
i n t h e s u p p o r t o f t h e 609 E a s t runway, t h e v a r i a t i o n s o f t h e p r i n c i p a l s t r e s s e s i n t h e c a p ,cund p o s t s ,
a s u n d e r c u t t i n g and c a v i n g a r e i n p r o g r e s s , a r e a l s o i l l u s t r a t e d i n F i g u r e s 1 7 and 18. I t s h o u l d b e
n o t e d t h a t t h e s e s t r e s s e s a r e e v a l u a t e d , a t t h e mid
n o d a l p o i n t l o c a t e d a t t h e c a p a n d p o s t s , o n tine
b a s i s o f t h e s t r e s s e s i n t h e surrounding elements.
The f o l l o w i n g c o n c l u s i o n s a r e drawn on t h e b a s i s
of the available results:

GEOMECHANICS APPLICATIONS, UNDERGROUND MINING

254

TABLZ
2tep
?:umber.

--

m:
,*i L A . ~ ~

; s e e ? i g u r e 4)

or Lo-

!
1

i
5I
1

6
t o end

%ken

~.
i n +he : ; u t s t r i i c r ~ ; r e 3r:aly::is

--I

S p e c i i ' i e d Displaccrnents
a t t h e outerbo~lnriary

Purpos:,

-No displacement;
specifie~

To i n s t a l l t h e s u p p o r t s a t t i l e same r u n
way. To e x c a v a t e and s u p p o r t t h e 608 l e v

As d e r i v e d from s i m i l a t i o n s t e p 1 - sirnula-

e l runway and t h e r e m a i n i n g d r i f t s i n t h e
s u b s t r u c t u r e . To i n i t i a t e u ! l d e r c u t t i n g
and f o l l o w up t o the: 606 E:ast l e v e l .

t i o n method ( 3 )

from September 1972


t o January 1973

To e x c a v a t e f a n a t t h e 607 S a s t l e v e l
and i u l d e r c u t .

As d e r i v e d from s i m u l a t i o n j
step 2
1

f r o r : ~J a n u a r y I 9 7 3
t o J u l y 1974

To e x c a v a t e f a n z t t n e 608 E a s t l e v e l
m d undercut.

As d e r i v e d from s i m u l a t i o n i
szep 3
I

from J u l y 1974
t o 4 u g u s t 1975

T3 e x c a v a t e f a n a t t h e 609 E a s t l e v e l

As d e r i v e d from s i x l u l a t i o n
step 4
!
As d e r i v e d from s i m u l a t i o n
steps 5 t o 10

--

- --

ye;ii- LO70

from Januarj, Iy'7i


t r ~September 1972

S'iipr,

To exzavrite t h e 60:) East r7ill?iraj; w i t h t h e


s t r e s s f i e l i l c o n d i t i o n i n tric s t r u c t u r e
chusen t o be t h e same a s a e a s u r e d .

tn

L; -

subsequent, t o Aug u s t 1975

src

\
I

and u n d e r c u t .
To e x c a v a t e r e m a i n i n g f a n s and continue with undercutting.

FIGURE 16 - C3nf3:irs o f t'ne m o b i l i z e d s t r e n g t , h R!,


(-).
S u b s t r l l c L a r e : % n a l y s i s . S t e p no. g .

STEP No.
FIGLEE 1'7 - P r i n c i s a l s t r e s s e s g l and 0 3 i n t h e
s i u p ~ o r te l e r n e n t , ~a + t h e o p e n i n g b a c k . Subst.ruct u r e z n a l y s i s . S t e p no. 1 t o 9 .

255

NUMERICAL MODELING OF BLOCK CAVING AT GRACE MINE


1. The u n d e r c u t t i n g down t o t h e 607 E a s t l e v e l
(step 3) i s sufficient t o already a f f e c t t h e
s t r e s s d i s t r i b u t i o n around t h e 609 E runway, w i t h
a tendency f o r t h e s t r e s s l e v e l t o i n c r e a s e a t t h e
upper l e f t s i d e w a l l , i n t h e rock mass n e a r t o t h e
support i n t e r f a c e . When t h e 608 E f a n i s excavated
and t h e undercut p r o g r e s s e s f u r t h e r downdip ( s t e p
4), a d e f i n i t e i n c r e a s e i n t h e maximum p r i n c i p a l
s t r e s s i n t h e rock mass t a k e s p l a c e a t t h e back
and f l o o r of t h e same 609 E runway, w i t h t h e a1
s t r e s s i n t h e support f o l l o w i n g a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n
of behavior a t t h e back.

2. When going from s t e p 4 t o ?,where a l s o t h e


f a n a t t h e 609 E l e v e l i s removed, t h e o l s t r e s s
i n t h e s u p p o r t keeps i n c r e a s i n g g r a d u a l l y a t t h e
back. The same 01 s t r e s s i s noted t o i n c r e a s e a t
t h e l e f t s i d e w a l l i n t h e s u p p o r t , which remained
unloaded up t o t h e p r e v i o u s s t e p 4. No s t r e s s i n
t h e v e r t i c a l d i r e c t i o n appears y e t t o a c t a t t h e
r i g h t s i d e i n t h e same s u p p o r t . With t h e p r o g r e s s i o n of caving above t h e 607 E f a n t a k i n g p l a c e
( s t e p 6 ) , t h e rock mass around t h e runway i s h i g h l y
s t r e s s e d , w i t h a zone c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a s t r e s s
l e v e l o f approximately 50-60 p e r c e n t o f t h e av a i l a b l e s t r e n g t h e x t e n d i n g around t h e opening f o r
a d i s t a n c e n e a r l y equal t o i t s width

3. The minimum p r i n c i p a l s t r e s s 03 i n t h e
support i n c r e a s e s g r a d u a l l y i n compression a t t h e
back, f o l l o w i n g s t e p 4, p r i o r t o which s l i g h t l y
t e n s i l e v a l u e s a r e a t t a i n e d . The same 03 s t r e s s
remains t e n s i l e a t t h e s i d e w a l l s i n t h e s u p p o r t ,
b e f o r e r e a c h i n g a near z e r o v a l u e , f o l l o w i n g t h e
same s t e p 4. A t t h e same t i m e , t h e 01 s t r e s s a t
t h e back and s i d e w a l l i s i n c r e a s e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y
with t h e l e f t s i d e w a l l b e i n g l o a d e d i n a more r e markable way w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e r i g h t s i d e w a l l .
4. The i n f l u e n c e o f t h e weight o f t h e caved o r e
i s w e l l evidenced i n t h e g e n e r a l s t r e s s d i s t r i b u t i o n p a t t e r n s observed i n going from s t e p 6 t o 9.
I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e g r a d u a l i n c r e a s e i n t h e Ul
s t r e s s e s i n both t h e rock mass and t h e s u p p o r t , a
f a i l u r e condition i s a t t a i n e d f o r s t e p 7 f i r s t l y
a t t h e l e f t s i d e w a l l i n t h e rock mass. Subsequent
l y , failure i s also attained for step 9 a t the
r i g h t sidewall. Therefore, independently of t h e
presence of t h e s u p p o r t s , t h e d i a b a s e rock mass
around t h e runway i s g r a d u a l l y undergoing a
g r e a t e r s t r e s s l e v e l . A t t h e same t i m e , t h e a1
s t r e s s i n t h e support a p p e a r s t o i n c r e a s e a t b o t h
t h e back and s j d e w a l l s . The p i l l a r s between t h e
f a n s a r e i n no c a s e and f o r a l l s t e p s s u b j e c t e d t o
a s t r e s s l e v e l g r e a t e r t h a n 40-50 p e r c e n t o f t h e
a v a i l a b l e s t r e n g t h . As t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g p r o g r e s s e s
downdip along t h e diabase-magnetite c o n t a c t , t o
t h e noted remarkable v a r i a t i o n i n t h e g e n e r a l
s t r e s s d i s t r i b u t i o n p a t t e r n around t h e runway, from
s t e p 4 t o t h e end, i t does n o t f o l l o w a c o r r e s p o n d
i n g i n c r e a s e i n t h e s t r e s s l e v e l i n t h e same p i l lars.

5. A comparison o f p r e d i c t e d and observed beh a v i o r s f o r t h e 609 E a s t runway d u r i n g u n d e r c u t t i n g


i s d i f f i c u l t t o perform q u a n t i t a t i v e l y , i n p a r t i c u l a r f o r t h e l o a d s a c t i n g i n t h e s t e e l s e t s . With
t h e t y p e s o f elements used i n t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e an a l y s i s an e q u i v a l e n t deformation modulus was nec-

FIGURE 18 - P r i n c i p a l s t r e s s e s 01 and 0 3 i n t h e
s u p p o r t elements a t t h e opening w a l l s . S u b s t r u c t u r e
a n a l y s i s . S t e p no. 1 t o 9

e s s a r i l y adopted f o r t h e s u p p o r t s , w i t h o u t b e i n g
able t o introduce the e x i s t i n g difference i n the
s t i f f n e s s e s o f t h e m a t e r i a l involved.
I f one
proceed q u a l i t a t i v e l y o n l y , t h e most a p p a r e n t f a c t
i s t h a t t h e n u m e r i c a l a n a l y s i s of t h e s u b s t r u c t u r e
does n o t show a drop i n t h e maximum p r i n c i p a l
s t r e s s e s i n t h e supports sides for s t e p 6 t o 7, a s
t h e u n d e r c u t edge i s known t o have p a s s e d beyond
che l o c a t i o n o f t h e runway. The i n c r e a s e i n t h e
n e a r l y h o r i z o n t a l compressive s t r e s s o b s e r v e d i n
c o n c r e t e a t t h e v a u l t , a s t h e undercut advances
toward t h e runway, seems t o be w e l l p r e d i c t e d on
t h e b a s i s o f t h e s t r e s s e s c a l c u l a t e d i n t h e supp o r t a t t h e back o f t h e opening. The h i g h t e n s i l e
s t r e s s e s measured In c o n c r e t e c o u l d n o t be v i s u a l -

CEOMECHANICS APPLICATIONS, UNDERGROUNDMINING

256

1
i t ,
I
:
, : i n a l y s i s , C.XL,'L'~ ; ' ~ r5
Lenl,:r~;y :JT- --111.
'
e~6::rler:i;:
'
in c o n c r e t e , xi, :he v a u l t
3f +t,e operii:~~;, -3 .o- sl;&:iirjr i n tensiriri i r u r i ~s t . 2 ~

$,J

Q.

temporary s t a b i l i z i n g system t h a t a p p l i e s a
s t a b i l i z i n g p r e s s z r e , s u f f i c i e n t t o keep t!:e .sit:!i n g s t a 5 l e d u r i n g u n d e r c u t t i n g , and p e r x i t s t h c
o p e n i n g s h a p e t o deform. Only when t h e i n f l u e n c e
of u n d e r c u t t i n g i s c e a s e d , c o n s i d e r a t i o n w i l i ae
g i v e n t o t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n o f permanent support;.
?L

i:O!ICLUSIOTJS
On the b a s i s o f t n e t h e o r e t i c a l and exper$men-,ul
r e s u l t s o b t a i n e d i n +,he a t n d y r e p o r l e d i n t h e p r e s e n t p a p e r , tile i'cilowing c o n c l u s i o n s can b e i r a w n
w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o t h e b e h a v i o r o f undergro:md dcvelopment and e x t r a c t i o n o p e n i n g s a n d t h e i r supp o r t s , a t zhe Grace Mine.
I . The i i i s t o r y o f s t r e s s changes i n t h e s u p p o r t s ,
y t h e n u m e r i c a l models based ilpon t h e
as predicteri b
F i n i t e Z l e n e n t i ~ l e t h o d , a l l o w s one t o s t a t e t h a t t h e
predominant e f f e c t s on t h e b e h a v i o r o f t h e s u p p o r t s
a r e c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o t h e d i r e c t i o n and magnitude
o f t h e n a t u r a l s t r e s s f i e l d i n t h e r o c k mass.
The
s t r u c t u r e response o f t h e supports appeared t o be
d e f i n i t e l y c h a r a > c t e r i z e d b y v e r y h i g h compressive
s t r e s s e s a t t h e b a c k , i n t h e c o n c r e t e l i n i n g and
i n t h e s t e e l p o s t s , when t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g i n f l u ence was f e l t around t h e o p e n i n g . The h i g h comp r e s s i v e s t r e s s e s i n c o n c r e t e c o u l d b e proven t o
e x i s t on t h e b a s i s o f t h e i n s t r u m e n t a l measurements.
S i m i l a r l y , t e n s i l e s t r e s s e s w e r e a s c e r t a i n e d t o be
p r e s e c t i n t h e same c o n c r e t e .

2. The l e v e l o f mobili7,ed s t r e n g t h i n d i a b a s e ,
s u b s e q u e n t t o e x c a v n t i o n and ? r i o r t o s u p p o r t s '
i n s t a l l a t i o n , i s such a s t o suqgest t h a t t h e open
i n g would be s t a b l e even w i t h no s u p p o r t s b e i n g
installed.
The t y p e o f s u p p o r t s u s e d , wit,h conc r e t e and s t e e l s e t s r e g u l a r l y s p a c e d , rnakes one
t h i n k t h a t t h e s t a b i l i z i n g p r e s s u r e v a r i e s i n magn i t u d e a l o n g t h e runway and d o e s riot n e c e s s a r i l y
p r o v i d e a contirluous r e s t r a i n i n g e f f e c t o n t h e
opening's contours a s d e s i r a b l e .
Furthermore, the
c o n c r e t e between e a c h s t e e l s e t i s a p p a r e n t l y s u b c
j e c t e d t,o a s t r e s s l e v e l s u c h a s t o make i t t o f r a t u r e and t r a n s f e r i t s l o a d t o t h e ~ i u c hs t i f f ' e r
s t e e l s u p p o r t s . A l s o , t h e c o n c r e t e used t o Y i l ;
t h e gap between t h e & e e l s e t s and t h e e x c a v a t i o n
s u r f a c e i s shown t o b e h i g h l y s t r e s s e . ? d u r i n g ilnd e r c u t t i n g , b o t h at t h e v a u l t and at, t h e s i d e w a l l s ,
so t h a t i t s load carrying capacity i s highly impaired.

3. A r o t a t i o n o f t h e s t r e s s p r i n c i p a l a x e s i n
t h e a r e a where t h e runways a r e l o c a t e d h a s been
d e t e r m i n e d by i n s t r u r i e n t a l measurements and comp u t e r p r e d i c t i o n s . The s h a p e o f t h e o p e n i n g was
shown t o ct:ange s i g n i f i c a n t l y d u r i n g t h e underc u t t i n g o p e r a t i o n s . The t y p e o f s u p p o r t , i n s t s l i e ! - l
i s s u c h a s t o t r y t o l i m i t t h i s d e f o r m a t i o n t o t.ak?
p l a c e , w i t h t h e consequence t h a t t h e same s?lpport,
becomes v e r y h i g h l y and u n e v e n l y s t r e s s e d .
It
seems p o s s i b l e t h a t a d e l a y i n t h e i n s t a l l a t i o n o f
t h e s u p p o r t s and a b e t t e r c o n t r o l o f t h e .undercut-t i n g s e q u e n c e c o u l d be b e n e f i c i a l .
I n any c a s e ,
one should guarantee t h a t t h e s t r e s s concentration
e f f e c t s of t h e u n d e r c u t t i n g a d v a n c i n g toward t h e
runway, and t h e s u b s e q u e n l s t r e s s removal srhicii
t a k e s p l a c e d u r i n g u n d e r c u t t i n g i n t h e immediate
v i c i n i t y o f each d r i f t , does n o t vary s t r o n g l y t h e
l e v e l o f r!iobilized s t r e n g t h i n Lhe r o c k m a s s . T h i s
seems p o s s i b l e t o be a c h i e v e d by t h e a d o p t i o n o f

The work r e p o r t e d i n t h e g r e s e n t p a p e r was


s u p p o r t e d by t h e United S t a t e s Bureau o f Yines
t h r o u g h c o n t r a c t no. 5-0275005.
Different persons
were v e r y a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d d u r i n g v a r i o u s s t a g e s
o f t h e r e s e a r c h . M r . A. S t e r n rJas r e s p o c s i b l e f o r
c o l l e c t i n g t h e geomechanical d a t a a t t h e Grace bline,
d u r i n g t h e summer o f 1977. D r . G.P.Giani o f f e r e d
a s s i s t a n c e i n t h e numerical modelG~work.Their
h e l r i s greatly appreciated.

NOTE:
The views a n d c o n c l u s i o n s c o n t a i n e d i n t h e
o a p e r a r e t h o s e o f t h e a u t h o r s and s h o u l d n o t b e
interpreted a s necessarily representing the o f f i c i a l p o l i c i e s o r recommendations o f t h e I n t e r i o r
D e p a r t m e n t ' s Bureau o f Nines o r o f t h e U.S. Govern
ment .

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S t r a i n and a i s p l a c e ~ ? e n tC r e a t e d by U n d e r c u t t i n g
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