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ArticleName Experience of heading and support in super-deep openings in Skalisty Mine of Nornickel’s Polar Division
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2022.07.05
ArticleAuthor Pleshko M. S., Lobanov E. A., Mushtekenov T. S., Volkov D. S.

NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia:

M. S. Pleshko, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences,


KANEX Shakhtostroy, Moscow, Russia:
E. A. Lobanov, CEO
D. S. Volkov, Chief Operating Officer

Polar Division of Norilsk Nickel, Norilsk, Russia:

T. S. Mushtekenov, Deputy CEO for Mineral Resources


Currently mineral mining in the world faces continuous growth of mining depth associated with complication of geomechanical conditions and with uncontrollable events induced by confining pressure during mine construction. The reliable prediction and estimation of dynamic events induced by confining pressure is a challenging theoretical and practical problem solvable using analytical, empirical and numerical methods. The article discusses this problem solution as a case-study of heading operations in underground openings RV-1 and RV-2 in Skalisty Mine at the unique depths both in Russia and in Europe: 1800–2000 m in difficult geological conditions. The operations are carried out by company KANEX Shakhtostroy. The rock mass quality assessment by Barton’s index Q shows that it varies from Q = 1–4 (poor quality) to Q = 0.1–1 (very poor quality). The in-situ research and numerical modeling determine the fair stress–strain behavior of rock mass but there exists rockburst hazard and the horizontal stresses exceed the vertical stresses. The maximal horizontal stresses orient nearly north southward, which agree with the monitoring data from shaft SKS-1. In these complex geomechanical conditions, it is recommended to use not stiff mine support systems with high load-bearing capacity but mixed-type support systems with deformation compatibility and high capability to absorb energy. Such engineering solutions, given continuous monitoring and scientific supervision of heading operations, ensure high safety and economic efficiency of mining, which is proved by the positive experience of KANEX Shakhtostroy in super-deep heading operation in RV-1 and RV-2 openings in Skalisty Mine.

keywords Underground opening, support, rock mass, heading, monitoring, stresses, strains, stability

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