Engineering & Mining Journal, Carly Leonida

It’s clear that mining methods like longhole stoping and cut-and-fill are not only still fit for purpose, through new technologies they will continue to be useful long into the future. However, their application will remain orebody dependent. Once veins reach a certain width, bulk mining methods (of which there are plenty) become more economic. But what about at the lower end of the scale? Some veins sets are simply too narrow or geotechnically complex to be mined profitably using these methods.

Novamera Inc. may have found the answer. The startup, which is a spin off from Canadian gold producer, Anaconda Mining, has developed a technique called Sustainable Mining by Drilling (SMD).

The system was originally conceived to exploit Anaconda’s Romeo and Juliet deposit in Newfoundland. This consists of a network of very narrow, steeply dipping veins which aren’t conducive to economic recovery through conventional selective mining methods. However, following its presentation at the Disrupt Mining event in 2019, the team realized that SMD could benefit many other operations too.

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