Optimised ore recovery: Unlocking value from rock filled stopes

Many mines have ore rich reserves adjacent to rock filled stopes which are difficult to extract. There is increased value in extracting this ore through stabilisation of the rock fill with specialised grouts.

The use of stabilising grouts for the extraction of high grade ore adjacent to rockfilled stopes has been occurring since 2001, with the first application at Goldfields Crusader mine. Since Crusader, there have been many applications around Australia and internationally where loose rock fill has been stabilised to create rib and sill pillars, thus unlocking significant value for individual mines. Specialised grouts, such as Minova’s FB200, allow mines the flexibility to manage their stoping operations more cost effectively. Typically, this method has found application in narrow vein gold mines, however the case study outlines a recent application in a Zinc-Copper VMS orebody.

This case study shows one such example where an underground mine has increased their available ore tonnes by 20 per cent.

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