Itasca regularly performs evaluations and designs for long-hole, cut-and-fill, room-and-pillar, and longwall stopes excavated in rock ranging from limestone and granite to coal and trona. As with all their work, Itasca engineers combine a practical engineering approach with numerical modeling technologies where appropriate. Itasca’s software is particularly good at representing the stress-strain response of intact, blocky, or bedded materials exhibiting plastic, brittle and creep behaviors over all scales of mining. Thus, any combination of mine geology can be simulated.
As part of an underground mine feasibility study, Itasca performs a mine design analysis that includes:
- mining method assessment;
- structural mine design, including stope and pillar sizing and orientation, stope sequencing, need for permanent stabilizing pillars, and backfill strength requirements;
- ground support for access, infrastructure, and stopes; and
- assessment of subsidence potential.
The Itasca hydrogeology team works closely with other Itasca underground mining groups to provide hydrogeologic and geochemical analyses, such as field investigation and monitoring, groundwater flow model, geochemical model, and to enumerate best options for groundwater management, dewatering, and depressurization program.