Title: Enhancing productivity through effective spoil stability management in an open cast coal mine

Authors: Nompumelelo Mpembe; Bekir Genc

Addresses: School of Mining Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Ave, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa ' School of Mining Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Ave, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Abstract: The paper investigated the best practical dig-spoil sequence which addressed circular failure in waste spoil piles and enhanced productivity through an improved coal exposure rate. This involved the evaluation of two overhand-chop and three dozer pushover dig-spoil sequences through DragSim software and an MS Excel dragline calculator. The software provided spoil profiles for geotechnical analysis and the calculator generated productivity indicators (digging rate, coal exposure rate and rehandle percentage). The sequences were ranked in terms of the ability to meet the mine budget requirements and best practice standards for stability and productivity. The best practical dig-spoil sequence was the oblique spoil-side dozer pushover sequence. It was recommended that Pit B be split in two halves: a modified overhand-chop and oblique spoil-side dozer pushover sequence for the first and second half, respectively.

Keywords: opencast coal mining; stability management; DragSim software; dig spoil sequence; circular failure; waste spoil pile and competent weathered sandstone.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMME.2020.108645

International Journal of Mining and Mineral Engineering, 2020 Vol.11 No.2, pp.134 - 151

Received: 17 Aug 2019
Accepted: 24 Nov 2019

Published online: 16 Jul 2020 *

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