Combining experience, conventional approaches, and numerical modeling tools, Itasca can simulate mining of client’s sites first, to select mining methods appropriate to the orebody geometry, rock mass strength conditions, and stress state. Itasca understands the economics involved in any mine design and ensures that mineral recovery is optimized while satisfying subsidence criteria and providing a productive, stable, and safe mining method.
The first step in the process involves the investigation of mining method alternatives that meet production and cost requirements and are compatible with the rock mass strength, stress, and environmental criteria. Due to the orebody dip and the need to minimize surface impacts, alternatives will be limited to the possible variations of open stoping with backfill. 2D and 3D numerical models also would be employed selectively at this stage to better understand the impacts of rock mass strength, structural geology and in-situ stress (magnitude and orientation) on the suitability of each method.
Using its own modeling software, Itasca can implement any number of mining methods with a range of property, economic, and site condition sensitivities to virtually excavate the mine. Sensitivity studies that vary key model parameters such as rock mass strength and stress state can also be performed and compared to the base case scenario. Designs, properties, and conditions can be revised readily during the feasibility process using the best information available.