Rio Tinto Innovation Has Developed A Suite Of Technology Solutions Under The Rapid Underground Mine Construction Program

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PROLOGUE Over the past years, Rio Tinto Innovation has developed a suite of technology solutions under the Rapid Underground Mine Construction Program. One of the major components of this strategy is the technology associated with the testing and verification and ultimately deployment of Underground Crusher Technology. The Copper Group has predicted that by 2025, fifty percent of copper production will come from large tonnage underground block cave mines. In preparation for the transition from open pit to underground operations, Rio Tinto Innovation has been developing new systems to provide a step change in both safety performance and underground construction rates. The underground crusher is one of these technologies which involved…show more content…
The number of crushers range from 1 to 2 per block cave depending on size and layout. The crusher chamber at present is the largest and most complicated excavation underground. The size is typically With caverns at depth, the maximum spans of the crusher cavern should be reduced as much as practical. The traditional cavern has spans of approximately 45m (L) x 15m (W) x 40m (H) The design developed for the FOR21 crusher has similar spans of 39m (L) x 12m (W), but the height for the cavern is 23.5m (crusher cavern + feed bin ore-pass). 3. INPUT TO BUSINESS CASE EVALUATION Reduction in excavation volume from 24,225m3 to 6,618m3 (ratio of 3.7 : 1)  Cost reduction of $17million @ $1000 per m3.  If cavern design is revised for stability the reduction is from 24,225m3 to 10,552m3 (ratio of 2.3 : 1), i.e. a cost reduction of $13.5million • Pro-rata time reduction from 11months to 3months, based on volume reduction of 3.67 : 1, or 5months for a ratio of 2.3 : 1. • Provides second access point to excavation level 6-8months early. • Allows more freedom for installation of full materials handling

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