Shrinkage Stope Mining

Shrinkage Stope Mining

Shrinkage stope is a generic term used in mining to portray the process of mining upwards from a lower to an elevated horizon, leaving broken rock in the excavation created. The broken rock acts as a working platform and assists to stabilize the excavation by supporting the walls.

The method may be used for ore mining in shrinkage stopes, for rising, and for underground construction projects where excavations of considerable vertical height may be needed, like ore and waste bins, crusher rooms, penstocks and tailrace tunnels.

As blasted rock takes up more volume than rock in situe, some of the broken material must be removed on a periodic manner, to maintain the requisite relationship among the back (or roof) of the excavation, and the level of the broken material in the excavation. This is attained by drawing the blasted material through draw points on the lower level, which is constructed prior to shrinkage starts. Access to the space among the broken material and the back of the excavation ought to be maintained for access of men and materials, and for ventilation. This type of access is usually provided by previously installed raises, normally equipped with ladder ways.

When correctly planned and executed, shrinkage mining is a very effectual technique for ore mining and underground construction. It is used where the hanging and footwalls of the excavation are strong sufficient to be self supporting, although artificial support like rock and cable bolts might be installed as shrinkage progresses. Where the technique is used for ore mining, careful planning and scheduling are requisite to ensure consistency of ore grade and manufacture tonnage.

Shrinkage stoping is used in precipitously dipping, relatively narrow ore bodies with normal boundaries. Ore and waste should be sturdy, and the ore must not be affected by storage in the stope.

From 30 to 40% of the broken ore is taken from the bottom of the stope, and the ore in the slice is blasted down, restoring the volume withdrawn. The miners then reenter the stope and work off the recently blasted ore.

Shrinkage stoping is rather hard to mechanize; in addition, an important period may elapse amid the commencements of mining in the stope and the last withdrawal of all the broken ore.


The solitary principal basis of tantalum mineral concentrates is the manufacture by Sons of Gwalia Ltd. from its Greenbushes and Wodgina mines in Western Australia. These 2 mines together produces almost over 50% of worldwide stipulate, with production volume in 2003 reported at currently over 2 million pounds Ta2O5 enclosed. The corporation has been in organization from the time September 2004, but construction and delivery of tantalite persist as standard. Supplementary quantities are available from Brazil in the course of compilation from diminutive alluvial deposits by prospectors and also in plentiful countries in Africa, such as Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, and Burundi. Mining speculation in Africa has been condensed due to political insecurity and connected risk.

In Southeast Asia the cutting down of the tin industry since 1980 has led to the diminution of tantalum oxide manufacture points accessible from tin slag's, a derivative of the smelting of cassiterite ore concentrates for tin manufacture. It should be well-known that struverite concentrates have been obtainable from this common area possessing 9-12% tantalum oxide.