Cost Effective Mine Stabilization

Designing a cost effective mine stabilization program requires significant interaction between the risk manager and the designer who is an expert in mine subsidence engineering. When evaluating mine stabilization options, the risk manager decisions depend on the comfortability (i.e. reliability) on the designer’s qualifications. This is important because the risk manager must relyon the asserted damage potential during the lifespan of the project by the designer, for the different options proposed. The remediation choice made by the risk manager based on options proposed by designer can mean easily $100,000’s to over a $1,000,000 reduction in project costs on a typical project. Therefore, quantifications of the designer, risk acceptability of the risk manager and a good understanding of the damage potential all play an important role in determining the best decision for the project.The process of designing the most cost effective mine stabilization plan involves a number of important steps and is summarized in the work flow chart shown in Table 1. It involves determining which mine areas under the structure are unstable and require stabilization. This typically includes subsurface mine investigation and mine stability analyses. In areas where the stability of the mine is an issue, a cost versus risk (damage) analysis is then performed on various mine grouting options. The options examined are based on the spectrum damage potential scenarios that are identified by the risk manager. After discussion with the designer, the risk manager then select the cost-risk option which is most acceptable to them. With the mine stabilization option selected, the designer optimizes the mine grouting approach and produces the plans and specifications for the project from their experience on the performance of previous mine grouting projects.

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