The quality and strength of a barricade is a vital component to the success or failure of a backfill program. A barricade that gives way before cemented paste backfill (CPB) has had a chance to settle and harden could have catastrophic consequences, compromising the safety of all of the personnel involved in backfill operations, potentially destabilising all or part of the mine, and causing delays while clean-up operations are in progress and barricades are re-constructed.
No matter how carefully backfilling has been planned, sometimes CPB and other materials behave in an unpredictable manner and add stresses where they were not expected, stretching barricades to the limit of their capacity.
Fortunately, there are products and solutions available that can provide safety-critical data before, during, and after the backfilling process. Installing and using a MineHop real-time data telemetry system that gathers data from an array of geotechnical instrumentation and other remote sensors will provide a simple but highly effective way to:
- Monitor in real time the state of your barricades during the backfill process and receive timely alerts that warn of potential failures, so immediate remedial action can be taken
- Know exactly what the flow rate is through your paste tubes and get real-time alerts regarding potential blockages
- Link barricade monitoring with paste plant management to optimise flow rate and trigger automatic alarms if certain parameters are breached
MineHop is a self-configuring, self-healing extension to a mine’s existing communications infrastructure that is completely reusable and can be easily and quickly redeployed as required by any member of the underground team. Using MineHop – combined with an array of purpose built sensors – to monitor backfill operations will save time and money and improve both the accuracy and speed of monitoring this safety-critical activity.