News Article

Itasca Awarded Prestigious Caving 2040 Research Grant

Itasca is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a significant three year research grant from the Caving 2040 Mining Consortium. Cave Mining 2040 is a cornerstone activity within the Transforming Cave Mining (TCM) initiative—a partnership between Industry Sponsors, Mining3, the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, and Industry Researchers.

How should block caves be designed and operated to achieve high recovery during cave interactions?

Itasca International, Inc.


Significant cave interaction difficulties have been experienced at a number of caving operations and the complex interrelationship of geotechnical and mining factors are not well understood. A clear understanding of cave interactions and their impact on recovery would allow blocks to be better designed and scheduled in challenging geotechnical environments with high stress and/or low rock mass strength, and furthermore, would allow cave engineering to target zones of poor caveability. Itasca’s research aims to answer the key industry question “how should block caves be designed and operated to achieve high recovery during cave interactions?”.

ITASCA CAVING RESEARCH TEAM

Itasca Australia
Dr. Glenn Sharrock
Dr. Ian Brunton
Ronald Lachenicht
Yoann Hebert

Itasca Consulting Group
Miguel Fuenzalida

Pierce Engineering
Dr. Matthew Pierce

Coordinated by Project Leader Professor Gideon Chitombo, the Cave Mining 2040 ‘Horizon 1 Project’ comprises eight study areas (see below) likely to have immediate short to mid-term impacts on cave mining methods during the next 10 years and ultimately contribute to the overall transformation of cave mining methods.

  1. Total deposit knowledge
  2. Cave Engineering
  3. Cave Establishment
  4. Mine design for new and emerging technologies
  5. High stresses and major seismicity
  6. Macro-block design and sequencing optimization
  7. Sublevel caving
  8. Open Automation Platform

Contact us if you’d like to find out more about Itasca's Cave Mining 2040 research or cave mining work.

Itasca's Cave Mining Consulting and Software

Itasca has been at the forefront of cave mine engineering for over 30 years, pioneering the development of industry-leading tools and experiential guidelines and empirical relations. Applied at more than 30 block, panel, and sub-level caving operations and projects worldwide, our tools and work have been validated through direct comparison of observed and predicted behaviors. Itasca also has been a leader in research contributing to both the International Caving Study (ICS) and Mass Mining Technology (MMT) projects. Find out more about Itasca's Cave Mining Consulting and Software by downloading one of the following documents:

Recent Publications

Cumming-Potvin, D, Wesseloo, J, Pierce, ME, Garza-Cruz, T, Bouzeran, L, Jacobsz, SW & Kearsley, E 2018, 'Numerical simulations of a centrifuge model of caving', in Y Potvin & J Jakubec (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 191-206.

Fuenzalida, MA, Pierce, ME & Katsaga, T 2018, 'Caving 2018, Vancouver, Canada 297 REBOP–FLAC3D hybrid approach to cave modelling', in Y Potvin & J Jakubec (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 297-312.

Hebert, Y & Sharrock, G 2018, 'Three-dimensional simulation of cave initiation, propagation and surface subsidence using a coupled finite difference–cellular automata solution', in Y Potvin & J Jakubec (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 151-166.

Makitaavola, K, Stockel, B-M, Savilahti, T, Sjoberg, J, Dudley, J, McParland, MA & Morin, R 2018, 'InSAR as a practical tool to monitor and understand large-scale mining-induced ground deformations in a caving environment', in Y Potvin & J Jakubec (eds), Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 661-674.

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