Modelling Hard Rock Jointed Pillars Using a Distinct Element and Discrete Fracture Network Approach Considering the Effect of a Clay-Filled Shear Structure

This paper presents a methodology to design jointed hard rock pillars transacted a clay-filled shear zone at Ngezi mine, Portal 4 (P4), in Zimbabwe. The nature of the problem is highly complex due to the large number of joints and possible shear zone configurations. On the mine, the shear zone can be found either above, below or within the ore zone. It was observed underground that large footwall heaves occur where the shear zone is in the footwall, while hanging wall fallouts were recorded where the shear zone is on the hanging wall. Tensile fracturing and large pillar lateral displacements were also observed and associated with the existence of the shear structure.

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