In the South African mining environment, a number of alternative gold-mining methods are being proposed and tried, such as sequential grid mining and down-dip pillar mining, while selective blast mining is being used more frequently at platinum mines.
The SAIMM reports that, although experience exists with regards to some of these methods, many unanswered questions remain and need to be tackled to allow mines to effectively plan their future operations.
Mine management is under pressure to develop new stoping systems which will further enhance the safety and productivity benefits of the new methods and layouts.
Trials are also under way at present to evaluate alternative mining systems, such as long hold drilling, drill rigs, mechanised mining and non-explosive mining systems.
This colloquium therefore aims to provide a suitable forum for identifying and discussing new mining methods, layouts and systems, specifically for narrow-reef gold, platinum and chromite deposits.
While the focus is on the future it will be based on the best of current knowledge and technology.
The colloquium will provide valuable insights into the importance of innovative alternative mining methods and systems, also highlighting and quantifying key aspects to be taken into account when adopting such methods and systems.
It is sure to be of interest to consulting engineers, mine management, mine planners, rock mechanics and ventilation engineers, ore resource managers, academic staff and students, the Department of Minerals and Energy, researchers and consultants and organised labour.