Underground mining in both hard rock and coal operations presents significant operating and safety constraints. The limited space to operate in challenging environmental conditions means traditional civil engineering techniques cannot be implemented, and clever strategies need to ensure OHS controls as well as maintain infrastructure like roads and drainage.
EXPLORE THE SOLUTIONS FOR UNDERGROUND MINING
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Underground Road
Underground Roads
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Rockfall Protection
UNDERGROUND ROCKFALL PROTECTION
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Underground Drainage
UNDERGROUND DRAINAGE
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Underground - Mine Entry - Slideshow
MINE ENTRY PORTALS
Geofabrics Underground diagram

Geofabrics expertise in Underground Mines

Geofabrics supplies polymer and steel mesh strata control products used to prevent falling debris from around mine portal entrances and provide roof and rib support at the operating face. The portable and easy deployment of Geosynthetics is creating new options for roadway construction, bridging areas of subsidence and providing better drainage solutions. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory is critical to ensure that the Geosynthetic solution can be managed in the tight operating constraints and achieves a safety benefit and cost saving for the client.

Being underground demands high safety considerations from strata control where falling debris can cause injury or death. Beyond OHS, the space allows limited construction options to build and maintain underground road networks and associated production infrastructure. Geosynthetics are portable, engineered to improve properties of soil materials within limited space, and can be used in a variety of underground mining solutions to present significant cost benefits.

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Underground Road

Underground Roadways

Underground roads are critical to production and operational efficiency, and road maintenance is significantly challenge by the space to operate and material available to construct. It is often geotechnical anomalies and incorrect drainage that creates areas of high subsidence or instability, as well as unacceptable surface rutting. A regular Geosynthetic solution implemented can use Geogrid and Geoweb stabilisation methods with insitu material to prevent surface rutting. This also allows improved performance for thinner pavement depths, which are critical when considering operating heights available. Geotextiles can also be used to bridge subsidence created by the impacts of blasting stopes or roadways either above or below the area of concern. The construction of thin underground pavements requires key inputs from the Geofabrics Mining Technical Hub, but will lead to significant maintenance cost savings when implemented correctly.

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

PRESTO International Geoweb with Insitu Infill

The Geoweb system can confine insitu road building soils and prevent surface deflection. Their use underground allows thin road construction using soils insitu to achieve the same pavement strength as ideal aggregates. The inclusion of granular material also allows road construction through areas that would ordinarily present with significant drainage problems. The Geofabrics Mining Technical Hub and GRID Laboratory has extensive experience in critical design parameters that enable correct Geoweb selection, and with our industry partner PRESTO International can ensure a solution that provides the best cost benefits.

High Strength Geotextiles over Voids

Areas in underground roadways or stopes may observe subsidence due to Geotechnical instability during blasting or drilling operations. Geosynthetics have a long history of bridging voids in road construction over challenging ground. High strength geotextiles, Tensar Geogrids and Geoweb all can be used to bridge voids depending on the site conditions and available soil and rock material. The Geofabrics Mining Technical Hub would need to review specific site conditions to partner up on these high risk solutions generally.

Geofabrics Megaflo® Drainage

Good road drainage is essential underground to prevent road maintenance. The Megaflo® drainage system is a cheaper alternative to traditional roadside drainage systems. Megaflo® halves the installation time required for traditional methods and only requires a narrow trench, so installation and material costs are significantly reduced. 

Megaflo® is widely used in critical applications, because of its high compressive strength under mining loads and high flow velocity means less risk of siltation. It can be used with site sands rather than costly drainage aggregate when designed correctly. The Geofabrics Mining Technical Hub and GRID Laboratory has extensive experience in critical design parameters that can assist with the right Megaflo® Pipe and Geotextile choice to maximise performance on your specific site.

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Rock Fall Protection

UNDERGROUND ROCKFALL PROTECTION

ROOF AND RIB SUPPORT FOR COAL MINING

Tensar mining grids and roof mats have been used in Australia for the past 25 years for roof and rib support in Coal Mines in both Bord and Pillar and Longwall Mining operations. The selection of polymer is critical to be highly resistant to oxidation, lightweight to install and can provide high tensile strengths according to specific site requirements.

Tensar Roof Mats help secure mine and tunnel roofs and ribs for safer and more efficient mining operations. And Minex Rock Mesh is equally versatile for faster, safer longwall screen moves and presents as an option for hard rock roof protection if steel grid is not suitable.

LONGWALL COAL MINING

The safety of a mine's staff and recovery system is paramount, whether dealing with longwall recovery rooms, high walls or ribs. The required support system must be able to fulfill the safety and stability requirements. 

UNDERGROUND MESH FOR HARDROCK OPERATIONS

The use of Steel Mesh is favoured in hard rock operations, to prevent surface debris falling on operators and plant. The Maccaferri Steel Mesh presents as a flexible option in comparison to welded mesh that has higher corrosion resistance, and when damaged either during the bolting process or long term, will not unravel and lose all structural performance. Geofabrics is available to work with operators to enable the highest Safety option onsite, whilst also ensuring installation can be achieved economically.

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FEATURED PRODUCTS

Tensar Mining Mesh

Tensar mining grid is a high strength, lightweight flame-retardant, self-extinguishing polymer grid provided for supplemental support of the roof and ribs in underground coal mining operations. It functions to prevent roof materials from falling and rib materials from spalling.

TriAx FR Mining Grids are made from high-strength, corrosion-resistant polymers, are lightweight and easy to handle; this allows for safe, quick and easy installation, resulting in significantly fewer back, hand and facial injuries.

Tensar® UX3326 Roof Mats provides the strength and stiffness of 8-gauge welded wire panels with the benefits of a light-weight polymer product. And when compared with 4 in. x 4 in. gauge wire panels, mats have been NIOSH-tested at 87% of pull-through strength. With their greater surface area cover-age, Tensar Roof Mats dramatically reduce the occurrence of rock fall-through.

Maccaferri Steel Mesh

Maccaferri Steelgrid and Steelgrid HR is a high strength, high stiffness steel composite netting/drapery system combining the versatility and practical benefits of double twist mesh with the excellent stiffness and mechanical durability of high tensile steel wire ropes. This can be an alternative to traditional stiff welded grids for strata protection underground as it is a flexible mesh that can marry the surface topography.

Minegrid

Minegrid comprises high-strength geogrids manufactured from polyester (PET) or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), that are woven under tension and provide the required attributes to meet the recovery challenges inclu­ding high tensile stiffness, flexibility, resistance to corrosion and conduc­tivity, high visibility, and where necessary conforming to Fire Retardant Anti-Static (FRAS) requirements. Minegrid fulfills all the requirements of a supporting element in underground mines.

Maccaferri Steel Mesh

Maccaferri Steelgrid and Steelgrid HR is a high strength, high stiffness steel composite netting/drapery system combining the versatility and practical benefits of double twist mesh with the excellent stiffness and mechanical durability of high tensile steel wire ropes. This can be an alternative to traditional stiff welded grids for strata protection underground as it is a flexible mesh that can marry the surface topography.
 

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Underground Drainage
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FEATURED PRODUCTS

Geofabrics Megaflo Drainage

Geofabrics Megaflo  is an effective subsurface drainage system for the removal of excess water from mine tunnels. Megaflo has twice the inflow capacity and drains water 60% faster than 100 mm slotted round pipe. The key to Megaflo underground is the capability to construct a narrow trench that can fit within roadways but also requires less use of imported granular material to facilitate high performance drainage systems.

Drainage Geocomposites

Geocomposite drainage sheets designed for vertical drainage behind retaining walls, bridge abutments, basement walls can also be used under roadways or behind shotcrete skin protections in tunnels. Being lightweight it is also well suited for installations overhead or in areas that present with limited construction options.

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Underground Road - Mine Entry Portal

MINE ENTRY PORTALS

Mine entry portals present critical OHS risk to site operators due to the potential for slope instability and falling debris. Geofabrics has a number of solutions that can consider the Geotechnical properties of the slope to implement the right solution. Rockfall barriers and Rockfall Catch Fences can be used for single rockfall events of a huge scale. The use of surface protection fabrics for surface erosion protection or Concrete Canvas as an alternative to shotcreting can provide veneer protection to ensure erosion does not increase OHS Risk.

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Featured Products

Mesh Drapery Systems – Rockfall Double Twist Mesh, SteelGrid, HEA Panels

Geofabrics Rockfall offers a complete range of Maccaferri mesh systems for rockfall protection. This range of high strength mesh systems are all high durability products with a range of strengths and corrosion protection options. All Maccaferri high strength mesh systems are designed to work with accompanying high strength anchorages, to increase the stability of the unstable surficial layer of a rock slope. The use of an enclosed Geotextiles with specified and tested longevity can enable full surface erosion protection at low cost.

Selection of the mesh types and optimum solution is based upon the analysis of the project site conditions (geology, topography, environment, static and dynamic loading conditions) and client requirements (design life, maintenance). Geofabrics can provide expert advice and design software to ensure the right product meets the site need.

CONCRETE CANVAS

Concrete Canvas is a flexible, concrete impregnated fabric that hardens when hydrated to form a thin, durable, water proof and fire resistant concrete layer. Concrete Canvas can be used to stabilise and protect slopes as a replacement for shotcrete when full coverage erosion protection is required. It is typically faster to install, more cost effective, requires less specialist plant equipment, and eliminates the risks associated with shotcrete rebound and debris.

Biodegradeable or Synthetic Surface Erosion

The prevention of surface erosion can be cleverly prevented by the use of Geosynthetic Erosion blankets. This is a low cost solution designed to prevent surface erosion and encourage vegetation over the short term. The Geofabrics GRID Laboratory has longevity data to ensure that the erosion solution chosen, meets the design life required. The choice is often a short term biodegradeable Jute option, or synthetic long term Grassroots option.
 

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