Ground Support Practice at Vale’s Operations in Sudbury

Publication Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Ground Control

Mike Yao
Principal Engineer - Ground Control

Vale operates a number of underground mines in the Ontario Division in Sudbury. The division hosts a wide variety of orebodies with varying geometries, many at advanced stages of mining extraction. Consequently, geomechanic challenges are forefront and include both gravity-driven and burst-prone ground failure conditions, further exasperated by rock mass characteristics and ever-increasing mining depths. Typical gravity-driven scenarios include the mining of remnant pillars in broken ground, mining through consolidated backfill and recovery of post-failure sill pillars. Burst-prone conditions become a challenge when mining through stiff and brittle geological structures, upon recovery of highly-stressed sill pillars in narrow vein ore bodies, or when mining at great depths in excess of 2,500 metres from surface.