Technical Papers

The role of rock mass heterogeneity and buckling mechanisms in excavation performance in foliated ground at Westwood Mine, Quebec

L. BouzeranI; M. PierceII; P. AndrieuxIII; E. WilliamsIV

IItasca Consulting Group Inc. (ICG), United States
IIPierce Engineering, United States
IIIA2GC, Canada
IVCVM Consultants, Mississauga, Canada

Bouzeran, L., Pierce, M., Andrieux, P., & Williams, E.. (2020). The role of rock mass heterogeneity and buckling mechanisms in excavation performance in foliated ground at Westwood Mine, Quebec. Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 120(1), 41-48. https://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2411-9717/860/2020

SYNOPSIS

Operations at Westwood mine in Quebec, Canada were temporarily halted in May 2015 after three large-magnitude seismic events occurred over two days. The mechanisms leading to these events, which caused severe damage to several accesses, were not well understood at first. This is partly due to the complex geology at the site, where massive, unaltered, strong, brittle, and seismically active rock can alternate with highly altered, weak, foliated, and buckling-prone rock at the metre scale. Other aspects of ground behaviour, such as the significant discrepancy in blast-hole performance between secondary and primary stopes and the propagation of damage from stopes to haulage drives in some locations, were also not well understood. In 2017, further geotechnical characterization of the rock mass was carried out and numerical back-analyses of several locations were completed using the continuum code FLAC3D. The objectives of the back analyses were to better understand the mechanisms controlling rock mass performance and to obtain a calibrated model for predictive stoping simulations. This paper presents the key aspects of the modelling, which include (1) an anisotropic rock mass strength model with properties derived from field and laboratory strength testing, and (2) a scheme to account implicitly for the deconfinement that accompanies buckling around excavations.

Keywords: rock mass performance, anisotropy, back-analysis, FLAC3D, deconfinement, buckling.

Buckling around the Coke Can in the 104 area (BI = 85, SI = 95)
Latest News
  • Meet Our Summer Interns Itasca is pleased to welcome three graduate student summer interns to Minneapolis. They will be...
    Read More
  • New Itascans Itasca welcomes Amanda Schendel and Luis Wasserman to our team....
    Read More
  • A Celebration of 40+ Years Itasca celebrated its 40th anniversary in May, marking four decades of discovery, service, and family....
    Read More

Upcoming Events
26 Jun
ARMA 56th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium
The 56th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium covers all aspects of rock mechanics, geomechanics, and rock engineering. ... Read More
29 Jun
3rd International Discrete Fracture Network Engineering (DFNE) Conference
The third International Conference on Discrete Fracture Network Engineering (DFNE 2022) present the important advances that have occurr... Read More
16 Aug
RockEng 2022
The theme of RockEng22 is Canadian Strengths and Future Directions in Rock Mechanics.... Read More