Mining-induced seismicity, particularly high-energy seismic events, is a major factor giving rise to dynamic phenomena within the rock strata. Rockbursts and stress relief events produce the most serious consequences in underground mines, are most difficult to predict and tend to interact with other mining hazards, thus making control measures difficult to implement. In the context of steadily increasing mining depth within copper mines in the Legnica-Głogów Copper Belt Area (Poland) alongside the gradually decreasing effective mining thickness, a study of the causes and specificity of mining-induced seismicity in specific geological and mining settings may improve the effectiveness of the prevention and control measures taken to limit the negative impacts of rockbursts in underground mine workings, thus ensuring safe working conditions for miners. This study investigates the presumed relationship between the mined ore deposit thickness and fundamental parameters of mining-induced seismicity, with the main focus on the actual locations of their epicenters with respect to the working face in commonly used room-and-pillar systems. Data recalled in this study was supplied by the O/ZG Rudna geophysics station. Based on information about the actual ore deposit thickness in particular sections of the mines (Rudna Główna, Rudna Północna, Rudna Zachodnia) and recent reports on seismic activity in this area, three panels were selected for further studies (each in different mine region), where the ore deposit thickness was varied (panel G-7/5 – Rudna Główna, panel XX/1 – Rudna Północna, panel XIX/1 – Rudna Zachodnia). Data from seismic activity reports in those regions was used for energetic and quantitative analysis of seismic events in the context of the epicenter location with respect to the selected mining system components: undisturbed strata, working face and abandoned excavations. In consideration of the available rockburst control methods and preventive measures, all events (above 1 × 103 J) registered in the database were analysed to infer about the global rockburst hazard level in the panel and phenomena induced (provoked) by blasting were considered in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented control measures.
The current rockburst hazard conditions in the copper mines are the consequence of mining-induced seismicity of the rock strata whilst the majority of registered rockbursts have been caused by high-energy seismic events. T he analysis of seismic activity in recent years indicates that the region of the Rudna mine is the region of the highest seismic activity. This paper is an attempt at evaluating the seismicity levels in the Rudna mine in the period from 2006-2015, within the entire mine and in its particular sections. Key parameters of seismic activity include the number of registered seismic events, total energy emission levels, and a unit energy factor. The variability of Gutenberg -Richter (GR) parameters are analyzed and the epicenters’ locations are investigated with respect to the stope position. T he distinction is made between low-energy (103 ≤ As < 105 J) and high-energy (As ≥ 105J) seismic events ahead of the stope, in the opening-up cross-throughs and in the gob areas. It appears that the risk level of a high-energy event occurrence in the R udna mine has not changed in recent years and has remained on a high level whilst the differences in seismic activity, in particular mine sections, are attributed to the varied extraction height and varied thickness of rockburst-prone carbonate layers in the roof of the copper ore deposit. The analysis of the epicenters’ locations with respect to the stope reveals that no matter what the seismic energy levels, the largest number of rockbursts are registered in the opening-up cross-through zone. Low-energy tremors are mostly located in the gob areas, high-energy events occur mostly ahead of the stope. T hus, the evaluation of the seismicity conditions in the Rudna mine seems to positively verify the relationship between the number of registered events and the levels of generated seismic energy, taking the local geological and mining conditions and the specificity of the room and pillar mining method into account.
The article discusses the validation process of a certain method of balancing gas contained in the pore space of rocks. The validation was based upon juxtaposition of the examination of rocks’ porosity and the effects of comminution in terms of assessing the possibility of opening the pore space. The tests were carried out for six dolomite samples taken from different areas of the ‘Polkowice-Sieroszowice’ copper mine in Poland. Prior to the grinding process, the rocks’ porosity fell in the range of 0.3-14.8%, while the volume of the open pores was included in the 0.01-0.06 cm3/g range. The grinding process was performed using an original device – the GPR analyzer. The SEM analysis revealed pores of various size and shape on the surface of the rock cores, while at the same time demonstrating lack of pores following the grinding process. The grain size distribution curves were compared with the cumulative pore volume curves of the cores before grinding. In order to confirm the argument put forward in this paper – i.e. that comminution of a rock to grains of a size comparable with the size of the rock’s pores results in the release of gas contained in the pore space – the amount of gas released as a result of the comminution process was studied. The results of gas balancing demonstrated that the pore space of the investigated dolomites was filled with gas in amounts from 3.19 cm3/kg to 45.86 cm3/kg. The obtained results of the rock material comminution to grains comparable – in terms of size – to the size of the pores of investigated rocks, along with asserting the presence of gas in the pore space of the studied dolomites, were regarded as a proof that the method of balancing gas in rocks via rock comminution is correct.
The extraction of mineral deposits is usually charged with additional taxes or royalty fees that go beyond the general income tax. As a rule, countries prefer stable sources of fiscal revenues based on the volume of raw material extraction, and investors prefer models based on profit tax, i.e. taking operating costs and risks lower than the expected profitability of the project into account. As a rule, too high a burden for the mining sector affects investors’ decisions regarding the introduction of new investments. There are a number of examples where excessive fiscal burdens force investors to move to countries with more favorable tax systems. An analysis of various forms of taxation of mining enterprises around the world has been presented and compared with the system implemented in Poland. Usually, the countries that apply the royalty fee in the mining sector at the same time introduce a number of adaptation mechanisms. This is crucial for new investments due to the fact that they may to some extent compensate for the high costs of transition from the investment to the operational phase. In most cases, several incentive mechanisms are used at the same time, e.g. the accelerated settlement of investment expenditures and the unlimited settlement of losses. The copper and silver mining tax introduced in Poland increased the discounted effective tax rate (ETR) from 38.5% to 89% for the entire investment period, which resulted in a 11-year return on investment, as well as a drop in the internal rate of return (IRR).There are currently no mechanisms in Poland which would balance the burden of this tax for a new investor. In order to balance the extraction tax for certain minerals in terms of the IRR and ETR key indicators, the introduction of several adaptation mechanisms has been proposed. For new investments the most essential mechanism is the preferential settlement of capital expenditures incurred in the pre-production phase of an investment. The others include accelerated amortization, the ability to deduct certain expenses for the exploration phase from the tax base, along with an extended tax loss settlement period, or a mechanism for deducting a certain percentage of investment expenses directly from the tax.
This article describes stability issues of main excavations in deep copper mines in Poland, from the perspective of mining work safety. To protect main transportation and ventilation routes, parts of rock are left untaken to form so-called protective pillars. The problem was to determine the size of main excavations protective pillars in deep underground copper mines in which provide stability of main excavations. The results of numerical simulations of the stability of protective pillars under specific geological and mining conditions are presented, covering: underground depth and width of protective pillar, number, size and layout geometry of protected excavations, as well as the impact of parameters of surrounding gob areas. Problem was solved applying numerical simulations based on the finite element method which were performed in a plane state of strain by means of Phase2 v. 8.0 software. The behavior of the rock mass under load was described by an elastic-plastic model. The Mohr-Coulomb criterion was used to assess the stability of the rock mass. The results of numerical modeling have practical applications in the designing of protective pillars primarily in determining their width. These results were used to prepare new guidelines for protective pillars in Polish copper mines in the Legnica-Glogow Copper District.