Guidelines for geotechnical risk assessment in underground mines
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School of Engineering | Master's thesis
AbstractMining industry has been known for the risks that are present while working in a confined underground environment. Several accidents in the past have cost precious lives of workers and have done irreparable damages. Mining accidents which were not assessed have led to closure of mines and has seen extensive penalties by the governing bodies. While a lot of time is invested in collection of geotechnical data for mine planning, its ability and use in assessment of geotechnical accidents has not been evaluated in detail. Detailed evaluation of several indicative and absolute geotechnical data collected during the course of mine planning can be extended to risk assessment based mine design. This can help foresee geotechnical threats in an underground mine which can thus be mitigated according to the requirements of a mining company. The scope of the project was to develop a comprehensive risk assessment guideline for underground mines as part of the on-going project: Innovative Technologies and Concepts for the Imelligent Deep Mine of the Future (12 Mine), under the 7<sup>th</sup> framework program of the European Union. The aim of the thesis was to formulate guidelines to use geotechnical data in the mine towards identification of hazardous conditions posing risk. The project was divided into logical phases ranging from literature review to risk assessment tool formulation. The first task of the project was to define the various parameters that will govern a geotechnical risk assessment. This was done using the assessment methods used in similar industry such as tunnelling. The parameters were defined based on identification of hazards and assessment of hazards. The reporting formats that are most suited for underground mining industry were researched and shortlisted. Underground mines were classified under a new classification system for mining activities with similar risk. Geotechnical Hazard Potential as a means of initial risk assessment based on the classification was proposed. Several element involved in the risk assessment were categorized into classes. These classes were used to develop a ranking system for risk assessment approach selection. Ways to develop scope and objective of a geotechnical risk assessment were developed. Guidelines were prepared to carry out hazard identification and assessment, and the ranking of risk arising from them.
geotechnics, hazards, risks, accient prevention, underground mining