Predictions of Groundwater Inflow to Sublevel Stope Mining
A three-dimensional (3-D), finite-element groundwater flow model was constructed based on available data from various site investigations. Five open pits and one underground mine were simulated for the feasibility study. Six shear zones, which will potentially intercept either open pits or the underground mine, were located within the model. The zone of relaxation (ZOR) related to the mining provided from the geomechanical model was also simulated in the groundwater model with approximately one order of magnitude higher hydraulic conductivity than the in-situ bedrock.
Predictions of expected inflows to open pits and different parts of the underground mine were made for various mine plans and designs. The simulated pore pressures from the groundwater model were exported as inputs to the geomechanical model. The model was accepted by both mine and funding agencies.