Dennis Laubscher, Alan Guest and Jarek Jakubec

Sponsored by Mass Mining Technology (MMT) Project

Technical Director : Gideon Chitombo

by Dan Woods AO

ex-EGM Exploration Newcrest Mining Ltd



"The Guidelines on Caving Mining Methods is a timely publication since it is clear the future mass mining of many commodities, such as copper, will increasingly require caving; but it is worrying that few mining professionals possess the requisite knowledge and experience to competently discover the deposits and to develop and operate these mines of the future. This knowledge has to be acquired in a very short time if the projected increases in metal demand over the next 30 years are to be met through new mine developments. The knowledge contained in the Guidelines is required not only by mining engineers, but by exploration and engineering geologists as well as CEOs and senior managers in large- and medium-sized metals mining companies. Geologists exploring for copper and other mass-mined commodities need the knowledge to understand the type of ore deposit they need to discover, or the suitability of a discovered deposit for caving. Engineering geologists require the knowledge to address the geotechnical challenges caving presents. CEOs and senior managers need it to comprehend the technical challenges and risks they will face in developing and operating their future caving mines.

The Guidelines are built on the combined knowledge of arguably three of cave mining’s most experienced practitioners but are not a recipe for caving mining design, planning and operation. They are intended to be used by project study managers during feasibility studies as a high-level reference to ensure adherence to the underlying principles of cave mining. They will not supplant the absolute necessity for detailed technical analysis and modelling to determine design and operational parameters. ALL prospective cave mining deposits are different and require site specific parameters developed in accordance with the principles stipulated in the Guidelines."

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