Key deposit indicators (KDI) and key mining method indicators (KMI) in underground mining method selection
Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
, 2010, Vol. 328, No. 1, pp. 381-396
This article is a review of previous discussions about underground mining method selection and classification with the purpose to clearly define and classify the two groups of variables (indicators) involved in the mining selection process: key deposit indicators (KDIs) and key mining method indicators (KMIs).
This paper provides a simple and clear approach for the classification and selection of a feasible underground mining method based on a predetermined set of favorable deposit characteristics, which are defined as key deposit indictors (KDIs). This article also gives a summary of the key advantages and disadvantages associated with every underground mining method based on their key mining indicators (KMIs). The selection method given in this paper is based on defining field KDIs and comparing them to the KDIs that are favorable to every considered mining method. By cross validating a matrix of favorable KDIs, the paper presents a simple approach to rank several underground mining methods using a scale from favorable to less favorable accordingly to the ore deposit characteristics (KDIs). KMIs are used to further complement KDI rankings by analyzing every method’s KMI performance based on the expected productivity of the mining operation being considered. To further assist the reader through the selection process, this paper gives basic sketches representing each of the primary underground mining methods discussed in this paper. Each method is given using the same 3D isometric view as spatial reference to assist the reader with visual interpretation and comparison between methods.