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Author ORCID Identifier

Support system; joint sets; ground support system; rock mass classification; shaft sinking

Abstract

This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of the ground support systems that are planned to be implemented on Block A, which will be excavated through the Marikana fault zone. The block of ground being prepared for mining has been physically affected by the presence of the Marikana fault and is therefore geomechanically and geotechnically weaker than the normal stoping conditions on the rest of the shaft. Joint mapping conducted in Block A raiselines indicated that there is a high concentration of shallow dipping joints which are dipping in opposite directions. Such conditions present special challenges in the planned excavations because they can lead to sudden and uncontrolled collapses unless appropriate action is taken to mitigate such instances. The orientation of joint sets aid the formation of keyblocks, which can collapse provided their weight exceeds the support load bearing capacity or if they are located in between support units. Therefore, stoping in the Marikana fault zone requires a more intensive support with a higher than normal support resistance. The existing ground control strategies, the processes, tools, techniques, and methods that are currently being used for support design were investigated and incorporated into the new system where applicable.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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