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Underground Mining Fundamentals
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Underground Mining Fundamentals

1-Day Training Course: THE Essential Overview of Underground Mining. Improve your knowledge & appreciation of the technicalities, risks & challenges involved with underground mining – the complex geology, how to choose the optimal mining method, the importance of production efficiency & equipment selection, JORC & the risk/return scenarios

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Key Learning Objectives

  • Explain underground mine geology and ore-body modelling
  • Appreciate the importance of resource/reserve estimation and statutory requirements: JORC
  • Understand the components of mine planning and the bankable feasibility study
  • Analyse underground mining methods and their financial risks
  • Recognise the interplay between size and life of mine
  • Appreciate the safety, legal, environmental and mine closure considerations
  • Consider the current industry challenges
  • Critically analyse select case studies of underground projects

About the Course

Build your knowledge and appreciation of the factors influencing the choice of a safe, productive and profitable underground mining method.

This course will provide a relatively new entrant into the mining industry or an experienced person in one part of the industry; with a clear understanding of the fundamentals, workings and technical components of underground mining.

Participants will learn about the technical aspects of mining ranging from exploration methods, geology, resource estimation and underground mining to mine planning, mining methods and mine closures.

This course aims to provide detailed knowledge of underground mining systems and the skills to determine what mining method would suit a given ore body, considering a variety of parameters including the financial risks.

Participants will develop knowledge in the development, production and all other processes involved in underground mining systems through a step by step examining of underground mining techniques. They will appreciate the interplay between size and life of mine and how difficult it is to make decisions under uncertainty.

Who Will Benefit

Course Level: Intermediate

This course is not a basic level introductory course. It has a specific technocommercial focus for technical and business oriented professionals who are either relatively new to the mining industry or experienced in one part but could benefit from a wider perspective.

  • Mine accountants
  • Geologists
  • Stockbrokers and analysts
  • Bankers and financiers
  • Legal teams
  • Equipment suppliers


“The knowledge and experiences Clive possesses in this field is second to none.”
State Finance Manager, Caterpillar

“His enthusiasm and deep industry knowledge but it comes across on a “generalist” level”
Managing Director, Magnus Investor Relations

Terms & Conditions

To read the training course terms and conditions read more here

Course Outline

The first part of this course looks at providing a concise overview of the basic generic factors that are involved in any underground mining system. The second part of the course deals with some actual ore bodies and how the generic basic factors were applied to arrive (in most cases) at safe, productive and profitable mines.

Generic factors – an analysis of underground mining systems

Geometry of the deposit

  • What does it look like in 3-D, size and shape?

Geology of the deposit

  • What sort of rocks are in the ground?
  • What are the ore body rocks?
  • What are the hanging wall rocks?
  • What are the footwall rocks?
  • Narrow vein, wide vein, massive?

Resource modelling

How do you fill in the gaps between different drillhole data?

Resource/reserve estimation and statutory requirements

  • Can you trust the data?
  • Reporting resources and reserves to the stock exchange
  • The Joint Ore Reserve Committee (JORC) reserve
  • The bankable feasibility study

Surface infrastructure and services

What’s needed on top to look after the underground?

Access to the underground

Declines, vertical shafts, conveyor belt inclines, second means of egress and escape, ladder ways

Ventilation to the underground

  • Primary fresh air
  • Secondary fresh air
  • Return airways
  • Refuge chambers and fresh air bases
  • Emergency response management

Pumping and dewatering

Ground control and mine seismicity

  • In situ rock stresses
  • Rock mass quality
  • Blasting damage
  • Hydraulic radius
  • Ground support

Overview of underground equipment

Mine planning understood

  • Ore Characteristics – are you a salesman?
  • Location, location, location
  • Infrastructure priorities
  • Putting costs and prices in context
  • Which is best hematite or magnetite – the big picture
  • How global projects are linked

Mining methods review – evaluating the costs and benefits of each method

Unsupported underground mining methods
Room and pillar, air leg mining, sub level stoping with pillars

Underground mining supported methods
Cut and fill, open stoping with backfill, backfill

Underground mining caving methods
Sub level caving, block caving, panel caving

Case study analysis section


Now the fundamentals have been taught and revised, this part of the course will aim to entrench this new information through the assessment of a select group of operating mines.

The goal for this case study session is to give participants an opportunity for the first half of the course sink in.

What better way to learn than to see how theory has been applied to real projects; where it has worked, and where it hasn’t.

Even better, the instructor will provide his insights and perspectives on how better decisions could have been made; what could have been done differently now there has been the chance to reflect.

The mining projects discussed will be selected from the list below, depending on the group on the day. They have specific relevance to the theoretical concepts taught.

  • What is the best mine design?
  • What is good? What is bad?
  • What worked, and what didn’t?
  • What should have been done?
  • Taking into account production requirements, what methods have the most potential?
  • Technically yes, but profitability wise, no – how do we make the best decision?
  • What can we learn from this?

List of mines under case study

  • Ridgeway gold mine- Sublevel caving to block caving
  • Northparkes copper gold mine – Block caving
  • Kanowna Belle gold mine – Open pit to underground large open stopes with backfill
  • Argyle diamond mine – Open pit to block caving
  • Telfer Deeps gold mine – Sublevel caving
  • Olympic Dam copper gold uranium – Large open stopes with backfill
  • Leinster nickel mine – Open pit to sublevel caving to block caving
  • Lancefield gold mine – Sub level stoping with backfill
  • Daisy Milano gold mine – Airlegging to mechanised back to airlegging
  • Sons of Gwalia gold mine – Airlegging to open pit to sublevel stoping with backfill
  • Mt Isa copper lead mine – Open stopes with backfill

On-site & in-house training

Deliver this course how you want, where you want, when you want – and save up to 40%! 8+ employees seeking training on the same topic?

Talk to us about an on-site/in-house & customised solution.


Still have a question?

Sushil Kunwar
Training Consultant
+61 (0)2 9080 4395

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