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One Mile Underground – Mining the N3500 Orebody at Mount Isa Mines


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Author G Chitumbura, D Matthews, I Özen and S Jackson


A paper identifying anticipated challenges in the extraction of the N3500 Orebody at Glencore Xstrata Copper’s Mount Isa Copper Operations was written in 2007. The paper identified the depth of the deposit, the anticipated high stresses, talc alteration and issues with ground support as factors that may affect production. A number of strategies were planned to cope with these issues. After six years of extraction those strategies are evaluated and additional measures taken are outlined. Strategies to cope with the limited mine life are presented, and methods to overcome additional challenges encountered during production are described.


Chitumbura, G, Matthews, D, Özen, I and Jackson, S, 2014.
One mile underground – mining the N3500 orebody at Mount Isa Mines, in
Proceedings 12th AusIMM Underground Operators’ Conference 2014 , pp 265–282 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).