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ArticleName Ground support liners for underground mines: energy absorption capacities and costs
ArticleAuthor Louchnikov V. N., Eremenko V. A., Sandy M. P.

AMC Consultants Pty Ltd:

Louchnikov V. N., Principal Geotechnical Engineer, e-mail:


Sandy M. P., Director, e-mail:


Institude of Promlems of Comprehensive Explotation of Mineral Resources Russian Academy of Sciences:

Eremenko V. A., Principal Researcher, Doctor of Engineering Sciences, e-mail:


Surface support is a key component of most ground support systems which are applied as a means of reducing the risk of rockfall occurrence and maintaining serviceability of mine development. Surface support has two primary functions: a) distributing the applied load throughout the system by providing connection between rock bolts and b) retaining smaller rocks that unravel between rock bolts. Confinement is also provided to the rock mass, which may increase its capacity to resist further degradation or loosening. Surface support has been routinely installed in most underground mines around the world for many years, yet the operators are still not always certain which type is best suited for deformable ground conditions. A number of factors need to be taken into consideration prior to selecting the type of surface support liner, such as its capacity, availability, practicality of installation, manual handling and loading conditions (static or dynamic) to ensure the system’s optimal performance in terms of safety and costs. This paper presents an overview of the surface support types currently used in underground mines in Australia. Shotcrete, weld mesh, high-tensile chainlink mesh, reinforced weld mesh and high energy absorption mesh are discussed. A detailed description of each system is provided in terms of capacity, energy absorption, installation cycle and costs. The cost of each system has been normalised to the units of energy absorbed. The information presented in this paper can be used by underground operators as a reference guide when deciding on suitable surface support type for deformable ground conditions.

keywords Underground mines, rockbursts, dynamic ground support system, mesh, rock

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