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
  • Meet Our Summer Interns Itasca is pleased to welcome three graduate student summer interns to Minneapolis. They will be...
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  • New Itascans Itasca welcomes Amanda Schendel and Luis Wasserman to our team....
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  • A Celebration of 40+ Years Itasca celebrated its 40th anniversary in May, marking four decades of discovery, service, and family....
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Upcoming Events
16 Aug
RockEng 2022
The theme of RockEng22 is Canadian Strengths and Future Directions in Rock Mechanics.... Read More
26 Aug
Deep Foundations Institute S3: Slopes, Slides and Stabilization
The conference focuses on effective application of deep foundations, ground improvement, and soil mixing for stabilization of slopes an... Read More
30 Aug
ACG Caving 2022
The Block and Sublevel Caving Conferences provide a platform for mining companies to be kept informed of the latest technological devel... Read More