The main optimized objects in underground mines include: stope layout, access layout and production scheduling. It is common to optimize each component sequentially, where optimal results from one phase are regarded as the input data for the next phase. Numerous methods have been developed and implemented to achieve the optimal solution for each component. In fact, the interaction between different phases is ignored in the tradition optimization models which only get the suboptimal solution compared to the integrated optimization model. This paper proposes a simultaneous integrated optimization model to optimize the three components at the same time. The model not only optimizes the mining layout to maximize the Net Present Value (NPV), but also considers the extension sequence of stope extraction and access excavation. The production capacity and ore quality requirement are also taken into account to keep the mining process stable in all mine life. The model is validated to a gold deposit in China. A two-dimensional block model is built to do the resource estimation due to the clear boundary of the hanging wall and footwall. The thickness and accumulation of each block is estimated by Ordinary Kriging (OK). In addition, the conditional simulation method is utilized to generate a series of orebodies with equal possibility. The optimal solution of optimization model is carried out on each simulated orebody to evaluate the influence of geological uncertainty on the optimal mining design and production scheduling. The risk of grade uncertainty is quantified by the possibility of obtaining the expected NPV. The results indicate that the optimization model has the ability to produce an optimal solution that has a good performance under the uncertainty of grade variability.
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.
This article concerns numerical modeling of the impact of mining operations on fault behavior, carried out on the basis of a calculation program based on the finite element method. It was assumed that the fault is a single discontinuity in the form of a vertically-oriented plane, and the conditions in which surfaces merge are defined by the right of the Coulomb friction. On the one hand, the calculations are related to the fault’s response to additional weight resulting from mining operations, and on the other, they are related to the impact that occurrences in the fault’s plane had on the immediate surroundings of the extraction center. The behavior of the fault was analyzed based on distributions in the plane of shear stress and slip, together with their range and energy dissipated due to friction. In turn, the impact of the fault on its immediate environment was analyzed based on variations in the total energy density of elasticity. The results of numerical modeling made it possible to draw conclusions concerning mining operation in the proximity of tectonic dislocations in the context of seismic hazard’s levels.
With reference to the situation experienced in several Polish collieries where the risk of occurrence of gas-geodynamic phenomena is increasing and decisions to start the mining activities need to take numerous constraints associated with previous mining into account, this paper addresses certain geo-mechanical aspects of longwall mining in the zones of excavation edge interactions giving rise to major changes in the conditions of the deposit and rock strata, as a consequence of previous mining operations in adjacent coalbeds. Starting from the analytical description of displacements and stresses in the proximity of longwall mining systems, the paper summarizes the results of model tests and investiga-tions of the influence that the excavation edge has on the behavior and structural continuity of a portion of the coal body in the coalbed beneath or above an old excavation. Based on selected nonlinear functions emulating the presence of edges in the rock strata, a comparative study is carried out by investigating two opposite directions of workface advance, from the gob area towards the coal body and from the coal body towards the gobs. The discussion of the results relies on the analysis of roof deformation and the concentration factor of the vertical stress component at the workface front.
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 efficient protection (support reinforcement) of a wall and heading crossing ensures continuity of the production cycle, and that is a quick moving of the scraper conveyor to the wall. Using low or high bolting as a support reinforcement element in wall and heading crossings allows for the elimination of traditional methods of maintaining longwall-gate crossings, and therefore allows for the efficient use high performance modern wall complexes. The paper presents the long underground experience, of the Knurów–Szczygłowice mine of efficient support wall and heading crossing maintenance, which was bolted to the rock mass with the usage of two pairs of bolts, showing full technical and economical usefulness of this support reinforcement method. The article also highlights work safety and the increasingly common usage of endoscopies when specifying the range of crack areas which directly effects the proper choice in number, load-capacity and length of the used bolts. The underground studies the measurements of the reach of the zones of fracturing and roof stratification (using endoscopes and wire type stratification meters) and the laboratory tests (using the test stand) have allowed to determine the safety factor for maintenance of the longwall gangway crossing, directly resulting in the necessity to install additional reinforcement. The value of the safety factor Sbsc-ch greater than 1 is advantageous and safe, and the value less than or equal to 1 can lead to a significant deterioration of the conditions of maintenance of a wall and heading crossing which was bolted.
Mine drainage and discharge of salt waters into water bodies belong to main environmental issues, which must be appropriately addressed by the underground coal mining industry. The large area of exploited and abandoned mine fields in the Upper Silesia Coal Basin, as well as the geological structure of the rock mass and its hydrogeological conditions require the draining and discharge of about 119 million m3/yr of mine waters. Increasing the depth of mining and the necessity of protection of mines against water hazard result in increased amounts of chlorides and sulphates in the mine waters, even by decreasing the total coal output and the number of mines. The majority of the salts are being discharged directly into rivers, partly under control of salt concentration, however from the point of the view of environment protection, the most favorable way of their utilization would be technologies allowing the bulk use of saline waters. Filling of underground voids represents a group of such methods, from which the filling of goaves (cavings) is the most effective. Due to large volume of voids resulting from the extraction of coal and taking the numerous limitations of this method into account, the potential capacity for filling reaches about 17.7 million m3/yr of cavings and unnecessary workings. Considering the limited availability of fly ash, which is the main component of slurries being in use for the filling of voids, the total volume of saline water and brines, which could be utilized, has been assessed as 3,5–6,5 million m3/yr
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.
The article discusses changes in Polish regulations concerning assessment of the climate hazard in underground mines. Currently, the main empirical index representing the heat strain, used in qualification of the workplace to one of the climate hazard levels in Poland is the equivalent climate temperature. This simple heat index allows easy and quick assessment of the climate hazard. To a major extent, simple heat indices have simplifications and are developed for a specific working environments. Currently, the best methods used in evaluation of microclimate conditions in the workplace are those based on the theory of human thermal balance, where the physiological parameters characterising heat strain are body water loss and internal core temperature of the human body. The article describes the results of research on usage of equivalent climate temperature to heat strain evaluation in underground mining excavations. For this purpose, the numerical model of heat exchange between man and his environment was used, taken from PN-EN ISO 7933:2005. The research discussed in this paper has been carried out considering working conditions and clothing insulation in use in underground mines. The analyses performed in the study allowed formulation of conclusions concerning application of the equivalent climate temperature as a criterion of assessment of climate hazards in underground mines.
The aim of the article is a preliminary assessment of the possibility of using ATES (Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage) technology for the seasonal storage of heat and cold in shallow aquifers in Poland. The ATES technology is designed to provide low-temperature heat and cold to big-area consumers. A study by researchers from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands indicates very favorable hydrogeological and climate conditions in most of Poland for its successful development. To confirm this, the authors used public hydrogeological data, including information obtained from 1324 boreholes of the groundwater observation and research network and 172 information sheets of groundwater bodies (GWBs). Using requirements for ATES systems, well-described in the world literature, the selection of boreholes was carried out in the GIS environment, which allowed aquifers that meet the required criteria to be captured. The preliminary assessment indicates the possibility of the successful implementation of ATES technology in Poland, in particular in the northern and western parts of the country, including the cities of: Gdańsk, Warsaw, Wrocław, Bydgoszcz, Słupsk, and Stargard.
This article is a contribution to the history of underground Polish press in 1939–1945. It is concerned with the main problems discussed in the periodical Jutro Polski. Biuletyn Informacyjny [ Poland’s Tomorrow: Information Bulletin] issued by the Democratic Party — The Rectangle. Published two-three times a week over the period 1940–1942, it informed its readers about the situation at the battle fronts, the latest in international politics and current events in Poland; it also featured articles debating the problem of Poland’s post-war political system.