Abstract

After open-pit mining finishes, an iron mine with steeply inclined ore-bodies will generally transform to underground mining. Non-pillar sublevel caving method, with horizontal slice mining from up to down, is commonly used for mining deep ore-bodies under the open-pit bottom. As horizontal slice mining proceeds, a gradually enlarging goaf will be formed under the open-pit bottom, the rocks surrounding the handing and heading sides of the goaf will collapse continuously, and then these results in rock-mass failure with large deformation and displacement in the open-pit slope. Based on FLAC3D, a modeling approach to predict pit slope deformation and failure induced by transitioning open-pit to underground mining is proposed in this paper. This method mainly consists of three procedures of modeling, i.e., mining modeling, landslide modeling, and filling modeling, of which landslide modeling is the core of the proposed approach. In the procedures of modeling with FLAC3D, iteration non-convergence is taken as a local failure criterion of pit slope. When iteration calculation cannot converge, the sliding modeling will start by deleting some elements with large displacements, and finish until convergence. Before modeling landslide, several displacement contours of rock-masses in the pit slope are searched out, and each contour is an approximate possible sliding surface of the open-pit slope. From these contours, the most proper one is selected as the slope sliding surface by using the iteration calculation convergence and minimum element deletion as the judgment condition. Landslide modeling is then realized by removing the elements outside the slope sliding surface. Finally, to demonstrate the effectiveness, the proposed approach is used to simulate the process of open-pit to underground mining at Yanqianshan Iron Mine, and to predict the deformation and failure characteristics of open-pit slope during underground mining. The case study results show that: the prediction of the slope stability determined by using our method is consistent with that calculated by using the limit equilibrium methods.

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