Optimizing Stope Design in a New Orebody at the Musselwhite Mine

Geomechanical Challenges for Underground Mining. Rock Mechanics/Engineering


Anna Perry; RockEng, Inc.

The PQ Deeps is a deep orebody located at Newmont’s Musselwhite Mine in northern Ontario. Development started for the PQ Deeps in 2020 and the first stopes were mined starting in early 2021. Unlike the majority of historic longitudinal stoping of narrower orebodies at Musselwhite, the PQ Deeps is a wider orebody following the plunge of a fold hinge and is extracted primarily by transverse stoping.  During early stoping efforts, some geotechnical challenges were experienced, necessitating design changes throughout late 2021 and early 2022 to optimize the stope design. This work describes the mining methods and design changes to optimize the transverse PQD stoping based on geotechnical lessons learned during early stoping efforts.
Keywords: CIMTL23