c. 2020 pitt & sherry

Mount Isa Copper Operation X41 Shaft Instrumentation

North-West Queensland

The Mount Isa Copper Operation is part of the Mount Isa mine complex in north-west Queensland. The mine is predominantly accessed by two shafts, with the X41 Shaft, sunk in the 1960s, providing the primary access to the southern end of the mine. The X41 Shaft is intersected by two significant faults that have been partially reactivated due to nearby stoping. Deformation and damage has been ongoing in the shaft since the 1980s and has been the focus of investigations, monitoring and research by a number of people since that time.

With stoping set to resume in close proximity to the X41 Shaft, pitt&sherry was commissioned to design a comprehensive instrumentation array to monitor the behaviour of the faults and the resultant impact of the shaft and the shaft furniture.

The array included a variety of extensometers to monitor the faults, ground movement monitors to monitor the impact of movement on the shaft and the shaft liner, and tiltmeters and strain gauges to monitor the shaft guides and buntons. The array is integrated with the seismic monitoring array.

The instrumentation was installed by Mine Design Technologies in early 2015 and has been gathering background data ahead of the commencement of stoping.

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