Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 289–295 | Cite as

A Sub-Level Caving Algorithm for Large-Scale, Small-Strain, Numerical Simulations

  • Bre-Anne Louise SainsburyEmail author
Technical Note


In block and panel caving, mobilization of the ore is achieved without drilling and blasting. The disintegration is brought about by natural processes that include the in situ fracturing of the rock mass, stress redistribution, the limited strength of the rock mass, and gravitational forces. Sub-level caving (SLC) requires the transformation of in situ ore into a mobile state by conventional drilling and blasting. This may be a result of a high rock mass strength or strategy to reduce dilution.

The SLC method is thought to have evolved as an up-scaling technique to the top slicing mining method (Peele 1918). Block caving, in turn, was the logical scale-up from sub-level caving. In the first application of sub-level caving, the ore was not drilled and blasted completely between two sub-levels, but only parts were broken by induced caving; hence the name sub-level caving (Janelid 1972). At current day SLC operations, the ore mass between the sub-levels is blasted. As a...


Sub-level caving Numerical model 

List of Symbols


Scaled draw velocity based on scheduled tons


Maximum draw velocity to ensure pseudo-static equilibrium


Applied draw velocity (Vdraw × Vmax)



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Science, Engineering and Built EnvironmentDeakin UniversityWaurn PondsAustralia

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