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Wednesday, November 23, 2022 – afternoon

Challenges and Innovations in Mining: Underground Mines

Chair and session organizer

Andrea Amortegui



Gilles Leblanc


1:30 a.m.

Opening of the session

Coming soon

Dilution control by artificial intelligence - encouraging first results

Kilian Bao

DT Solutions Services

Conference details

Today, most mines in Canada use the "backfilling and longhole stoping" mining method characterized by large openings, which results in significant overbreak and underbreak.

The SmartDil project uses artificial intelligence to improve predictions of overbreak and underbreak in mining operations. It is a decision support tool for mining engineers that provides simulations integrating a number of variations of specific parameters (e.g., drilling and blasting pattern, cabling method, etc.) to control mining dilution.

Following a first pilot project in Canada, despite the huge technical and organizational challenges, we obtained encouraging results:

- a dilution estimate with an average margin of error of ±6% when the data is complete;

- a 5% decrease in dilution for a mine already showing 25% dilution. This performance is achievable in the first year when all recommendations are applied.

Artificial intelligence has already demonstrated its potential in the automation of the mining industry, but SmartDil confirms in a concrete way the important benefits that can be derived from the analysis of mining data!

Coming soon

The steps towards the geomechanical optimization of a mining project, from data collection to practical applications

Conference details

In order to optimize a mining project, the rock mechanics aspect is particularly important, but often neglected. For example, rock mechanics has a direct influence on the dimensioning of mine sites, dilution and ore recovery. It also has an impact on the design of excavations and their position as well as on the mining sequence and the performance of the equipment.

In order to obtain quality results and optimize the performance of mining projects, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the rock mass and the various mechanisms that influence its behavior. The hydrogeological context of the site is another important parameter to consider. To do so, quality geomechanical data must be obtained and combined, if possible, with the experience acquired during the operation of the mine.

These data must then be carefully compiled to create models that will allow the representation and identification of the main mechanisms responsible. Combined with a lithostructural model, this information will be an important input to any geomechanical analysis. On the other hand, the information acquired on an active site represents data of great importance that can be used to create and validate predictive models.

The process of data acquisition and interpretation and their appropriate use to optimize mining projects will be summarized and demonstrated using three specific examples. We will discuss the creation of the lithostructural model, the optimization of site dimensioning, and the optimization of ground support.

Coming soon

Static and Dynamic Testing of Ground Control Elements at the CanmetMINING Ground Control Testing Laboratory

Devan MacDonald


Conference details

Ground support systems are crucial in ensuring a safe environment for mine workers through the holding, retention, and reinforcement of rock masses. Typical ground support systems consist of rock bolts, rock bolt plates, steel mesh, structural support liners, and shotcrete. In order to optimize rock bolt density and safety factor, the physical properties and mechanical behaviour of these systems must be accurately determined for a variety of potential underground scenarios. Laboratory testing is required under static and dynamic loading conditions to characterize the effectiveness of the ground support. As mining progresses deeper underground, there is a large demand for the development new ground-supporting technologies to counteract the ever-increasing loads encountered at these depths. Part of this continuous development includes the creation new laboratory testing methodologies and the adaptation of pre-existing methodologies in order to simulate the growing support demand put on these ground support systems.

The CanmetMINING Ground Control Testing Laboratory is a state-of-the-art laboratory located in Ottawa, Ontario, specializing in unique and fundamental ground support testing for mining companies, ground support suppliers, contractors, and research facilities. This presentation will provide an overview of the services that the CanmetMINING Ground Control Laboratory offers to industry, the recent and ongoing research and development projects, some adaptations and improvements to the laboratory, and some future projects.