Active Ground Support in Mining Conditions

Active Ground Support in Mining Conditions

Ground support equipment is very important when it comes to the safe operation of a mine. It will ensure that the excavations are maintained safely for the duration of the project. There are many companies that design and help test ground support equipment to ensure they meet the requirements of different mines.

GSE ground support ensures that both the people working in the mine and the equipment that are used are kept safe for the duration of the mining procedures. And they also look at how to extract the contents of the mine more economically allowing optimal access to the minors. Ground support includes supporting the rock to ensure that the load bearing capacity of the rock is maintained at a stable level. There are active and passive support mechanisms. Active rock support refers to the equipment and supporting structures that are an integral part of the rock mass that is reinforced.  The goal of the support system is to conserve the strength of the rock that is inherent to it. There are main types of reinforcing rocks that are available such as the use of tensioned rock bolts that are anchored onto the rock mass and un-tensioned grouted dowels or friction anchored dowels.

A traditional method for rock reinforcement is mechanically anchored rock bolts. These are still used in mines today. But the rock mass should be strong enough for the anchor to be placed. The rock bolt then needs to be tensioned to its maximum load carrying capacity. In the case of overloaded carrying capacity, the rock bolt will fail. When there is loose rock near the surface of the mining operation, it can create an unsafe working condition for the miners. In this case, tensioned rock bolts are used to retain these loose blocks. The rock bolt will make sure that the dead weight of the loose rock is held up. There are some drawbacks with the use of mechanically anchored rock bolts however. These rock bolts can slip over time due to the vibrations caused by mining operations and they can lose their tension. In situations where there is ground water, the bolts will need to be grouted in place.

Grouted or friction anchored dowels cannot be tensioned but it can still provide support in the event of damage to the dowel. But when there is damage to a rock bolt such as the breaking of the bolt or if the anchor slips, the rock bolt will cease providing support and the rock that is held up y it can fall. Because grouted or friction anchored dowels can’t be tensioned, they have to be installed before there is any significant changes to the rock mass. However, this type of support can be adopted for different rock conditions. For mining conditions where there is very little headroom, you can consider grouted cables. They don’t need to be tensioned before being grouted into place. They are used to reinforce the ore and even with the wearing of the cables over time, the support provided by the grouted cable will not wane.