The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre


Large scale flow dynamics simulations for block caving research

The Earth’s richest base and precious metal deposits near to the surface have all but been exhausted. In order to economically mine the deeper and low-grade mineral deposits, mining companies are increasingly employing a mining method known as block caving. Ore is fragmented under action of gravity and then extracted from below via an array of openings known as drawpoints. However miners face numerous technical and safety challenges when designing and operating block caves, motivating the Industry to support fundamental research on the flow of fragmented rock. This project will employ supercomputing resources to conduct physics-based numerical modelling in order to increase knowledge on the flow dynamics of fragmented rock. In addition, the world’s first physics-based cave-scale model will be employed to investigate how miners may mitigate technical challenges through alternative extraction strategies.

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