Copper Mining

Topics: Mining, Ore, Mineral Pages: 9 (1466 words) Published: April 28, 2014
Mining Assignment #4
By Siyuan Wei, Yifei Pei, Amrita Sur and
Clinton Huynh

Mineral: Copper
Dip: 60
Depth: 650m
Location/Terrain: Under River
Chosen Mining Method:
Sublevel Stoping
- Sublevel Stoping is designed for
mineral deposits which consists of
fairly stable rocks and have a steep
- This method is quite commonly used
to mine copper at varies sites around
Australia. For example, Mount Isa,
Olympic Dam etc…

Mining Process
- Sublevels are created within the solid
ore and below, a transport and drawpoint drift are created. The orebody is also divided into separate stopes and
are supported by the pillars.
- To obtain the highest mining
efficiency, stopes need to be as large
as possible
- Between each main level, blast
patterns are drilled using the sublevel
- The drill patterns specify where the
blast holes are collared and the depth
and angle of each hole.
- The Blasted and broken ore is then
transported using the transport drift.


Transport drift is
created at the
bottom of the
Ore body

Sublevel drifts
are created
within the Ore
The Iron in the
Chalcopyrite ends
up converted into
an iron(II) silicate
slag which is

Concentrated ore
is heated strongly
with silicon
dioxide and air or
oxygen in a series
of furnaces

Specific regions
are drilled for
accurate blasting


Each specific
region is then

Ore is then
transported out
using transport

Broken ore is
then collected
through the
transport drift

Other ores

The sulphur in the
chalcopyrite turns
into sulphur dioxide
gas. Which is then
used to make
sulphuric acid.

Reaction of the ore
with a dilute acid
produces a very dilute
copper(II) sulphate

Concentration of the
copper(II) sulphate
solution by solvent

Copper(II) ions are
then extracted using
the process of

Steep dip, the footwall inclination must exceed the angle
of repose
Stable rock in both hanging wall and footwall

Both competent ore and host rock
Regular ore boundaries

·Deposit Dip: fairly steep >45, prefer to 60 – 90 to facilitate ore flow(Ours is 60)
·Depth: shallow to fairly deep(Ours is 650m)
·Technical: ·Small to moderate scale operation
·Method is simple
·Low capital investment
·Little ground support is required in
·Fairly good recovery (75-85%)
·Low dilution (10-20%)
·High productivity and efficiency, up to 110
tons/employee-shift, depending on the

Economics: ·
Mid-range mining cost (relative cost 20%).

Large scale blasting lowers costs.
OHS: ·
Little exposure to hazardous conditions i.e.: easily ventilated. ·
Repetitive techniques help facilitate training and safety.
Environmental: ·
Pillars that are left in place can be removed once
adjacent stopes have been backfilled.

Load haul dump trucks
Front end loader
Motor scraper
Mechanized hydraulic Ring
drill rig (Common diameter
of blast holes: 48 – 64 mm
and lengths up to: 25 m) (a)
Scoop tram (b)
Wheel loader (c)




Mine development- sinking shaft in footwall. This avoids any subsequent caving effects from stopes created inside ore vein.
Development of stope and division of ore body- ore body is vertically divided by driving crosscuts and haulage levels (45m-120m). Ore pass drilled into series of sublevel drifts beginning at lower through to higher elevation.

Blasting (Blast hole method)- Holes drilled in radial patterns in roof of drifts using Jumbo drills are filled with explosives and blasted off.
Collection system- Loose rock and muck that falls due to the blast through the drilled ore pass is collected using Load Haul Dump Trucks (LHDs) and Scoop trams The muck is transported to another ore pass and into crusher and elevated up to surface on a conveyor. Ore excavated until stope is completely empty...
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