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NARROW VEIN MINING WITH TRACKLESS MICRO EQUIPMENT IN HUARÓN MINE

Por: Cristhian Via, superintendente de Mina Huarón, Pan American Silver.


Abstract

For the implementation of the trackless micro equipment for mining narrow veins, an action plan was made with the main objective of maintaining mining widths that are economically feasible, profitable and safe, achieving a significant reduction in over-dilution. 

Thanks to this work, the mining of narrow veins, which due to their width were not economically feasible to exploit in a mechanized way, became viable. For that reason, trackless micro equipment for linear advance was acquired: Muki front face mini-jumbo; for support: Small Bolter and shotcrete mini-robots; and for concrete transport: Mini Mixer. For drilling long holes, the jumbo mini raptor and for cleaning, 2.2 yd3 remote control scoop. All equipment with less than 2 m width.

In addition, a geomechanical design was made for the dimensioning of openings and panels, obtaining an ideal bench of 10 m with 40-meter panels. A mining strategy was considered in each unit operation (drilling, blasting, support, cleaning and filling) and mining control parameters (safety, deviation, fragmentation, dilution, width factor, secondary blasting and recovery).

This implementation allowed for positive results and therefore its use was intensified, achieving improvements throughout the mining process. Rockfall accidents dropped to zero, the unit's safety indicators were improved in recent years, over-dilution was reduced from 30 to 10% and the cost of mining was reduced from $34.17/ton to $20.63/ton.


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