ABSTRACT:

Over the past decade, the mining industry has seen an increase in the application of the stope-and-fill mining method as conventional underground deposits have been depleted and operations have been forced to produce at deeper depths and in more challenging ground conditions. Through the utilization of cemented paste backfill (CPB) material for localized ground support, modern stope-and-fill mining operations have been able to increase productivity, effectively manage mine waste costs, as well as provide a safer mining environment. While the application of CPB has allowed for an increase in ore recovery, it is important that engineering and operations personnel have a clear understanding of the fill material as well as the limitations of the fill design to provide the most efficient, cost-effective, and safe extraction of underground reserves. Despite extensive use of CPB in mines around the world, many fundamental factors affecting the design of safe and economical fill structures are still not well understood. A critical issue in the design of backfilled stopes is the determination of the stress state within the fill material and surrounding rock mass.

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