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Caving Cu-Au Porphyry

Jarek Jakubec
Monday, March 7, 2016
First presented: 
PDAC 2016

There are over 45 cave mining projects in various stages of studies and development around the world. Cave mining methods will be the underground method of choice in the future. It is only relatively recent that this mass mining method, despite 70 years of use, has begun proving its potential.

That interest is being fueled by the depletion of near surface ore bodies suitable for open pit operations. Many mining companies are turning to cave mining when they need to transition their operations from open pit to underground or if they need to exploit large low-grade resources at depth which would not support a more expensive mining method.  Cave mining methods are becoming more popular due to relatively higher metal prices, projected supply and demand forecasts, and a lower discovery rate of significant new surface deposits. Cave mining is the primary underground mining method for extracting large Cu-Au porphyry deposits and this talk will highlight some of the recent development and challenges.

Feature Author

Jarek Jakubec

Jarek Jakubec has 30 years of operating and consulting experience in the mining industry. He specializes in mass mining, rock mechanics, diamond mining, and technical auditing.

As a cave mining expert, Jarek has worked on most of the world’s caving and sublevel caving projects. He has participated in several international research projects, including the Mass Mining Technology initiative, and worked with Dr. Laubscher to develop a rock mass classification system for caving mines. With Gemcom Software, Jarek developed a planning tool for sublevel caving mines and has lectured on cave mining on five continents.

Jarek acted as an expert witness in the Northparkes cave mine collapse court case and is a Qualified Person in terms of NI 43-101.

Caving Specialist
Dipl Ing, CEng, MIMMM
SRK Vancouver
SRK North America