Rockbursting Properties of Kimberlite - Diavik Diamond Mine Case Study

  • Author / Creator
    Leveille, Paul
  • Rockbursts have been a hazard for mining operations since underground mining first came into practice; the consequences they present to mining personnel and machinery can be fatal and costly. Underground mining in Northern Canada has presented the opportunity to study the bursting properties of kimberlite. Very little research has been done to determine the likelihood of kimberlite bursting, mostly because the diamond mines in Canada have been primarily surface operations. However, as the mining of diamonds in Canada has moved underground and continues to delve deeper, bursting has become a suspect for the cause of recent failures. Six different types of kimberlite from Diavik Diamond Mine were collected and the physical properties determined by uniaxial compressive strength tests, Brazilian tensile strength tests, and cyclic loading tests. The rockburst profile for each rock type was determined based on three qualitative bursting indices developed from studies done on granite and coal. The bursting indices utilized in this study were the strain energy index, strain energy density index, and rock brittleness index. A combined rating system was created to quantify the indices, in order to compare and map the relative bursting potential of each rock type. From the combined rating system it was found that the rockbursting nature of kimberlite is not uniform, and is highly dependent on the composition and characteristics of the kimberlite present. This research presents an initial investigation into the rockbursting potential of kimberlite. While, the applicability of the findings is limited due to the relatively small sample size, it does confirm the suspicion of the rockbursting potential in kimberlite.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.