Senior Mining Engineer – Operations, Cannington Mine, South32
Several paste backfill bulkhead failures over the space of 12 months demanded that paste inrush risk at Cannington be re-evaluated. The resulting risk assessment led to the introduction of a set of new operating rules for high risk filling conditions to ensure safer use of the popular backfill method at the mine.
This paper will talk operators through the high potential incidents which occurred, the primary causes and the risk assessment which followed. Implementable actions utilised at Cannington are shared, while challenging other operations to consider their own current level of risk with regards to the use of paste backfill.
You may also like
- Post explosion atmosphere monitoring:– An industry study into available, low powered, sensors were conducted. The study was to identify commercially available equipment to sample the mine atmosphere post an underground incident.
- Ultra-resilient communication system:– An investigation was undertaken into the feasibility of components for a robust and resilient mine communication network. The network must survive an underground incident and be able to transmit information in and out of an underground mine environment.
- Blast protection (or blast resilience):– The blast protection was evaluated through subjecting different shapes of enclosures to actual blasts, in an explosion propagation tube.
- Navigational aids:– A series of test were undertaken to determine the suitability of using visible light, infra-red as well as radar to aid in self rescue. All test were undertaken in a “dusty”, or low-visibility, environment.