Cave Mining

Caving is applied to increasingly deep, large, strong, and heterogeneous ore bodies. This increases the risk of stranded reserves in overhangs, potential for cave stall and air-blast, infrastructure rehabilitation or loss, and large-scale caving-induced subsidence. Geomechanical analyses are therefore critical to understand and predict:

  • cave growth and shape;
  • primary and secondary fragmentation;
  • extraction level stability;
  • recovery and dilution; and
  • surface subsidence.

Itasca simulates mine caveability and subsidence using the continuum program FLAC3D and the discrete element programs 3DEC and PFC to predict the progressive failure and fragmentation of the rock mass from an intact/jointed to a caved material. Both FLAC3D and 3DEC can utilize Itasca’s CaveHoek and Imass material models, whereas both 3DEC and PFC can utilize bonded or free-flowing blocks/particles.

Coupled with Itasca’s deterministic, physics-based code REBOP or the statistical, cellular automata code CAVESIM, the collapse, bulking, and movement of caved rock can be better incorporated. The coupled method captures many important aspects of caveability affecting cave design, such as hang-up formation, material recovery, timing of surface breakthrough or interaction with other lifts, crater development, and surface subsidence.


Latest News
  • 3DEC 7 is officially released! Enhanced user interface with new automated block and zone generation tools, and new structural elements....
    Read More
  • Open Pit Dewatering: Dewater, Derisk, Deliver Learn more about developing an effective strategy for open pit dewatering and avoiding common pitfalls...
    Read More
  • Tutorial Series: Analyzing a Homogeneous Embankment Dam using FLAC 8.1 This is a three part tutorial series to calculate the total and effective stresses and...
    Read More

Upcoming Events
12 Oct
Focused Seismic and Liquefaction 2020
Itasca is offering a focused training session with instruction by experienced engineering consultants, hands-on modeling exercises, and... Read More
18 Oct
Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting & Expo
Advancing the global geothermal industry through transfer of robust research, knowledge and guidance.... Read More
2 Nov
JNGG 2020 Lyon
The 10th National Days of Geotechnics and Engineering Geology are co-organized by the GeoMaS laboratory of INSA Lyon, ENTPE and Cerema ... Read More