Design for Underground Metal Mines 1 - Design Parameters

7 modules


Course Length
12 hours

Edumine Courses

18 Oct 2019



The Design for Underground Metal Mines courses have been written with the mine operator in mind. Numerous conferences, papers and texts have been written on the procedures to gather and analyze data for implementing into a design process. Although there is wide experience and expertise in the design of mine openings, it has not previously been compiled into courses that enable users to engineer their work place based upon past experience and practice augmented by sound engineering principles.

Mining is a dynamic process which requires in excess of thousands of cubic metres of openings to be developed daily over the life of a mining operation. Those openings may be for development and/or production purposes, however all cases must be designed so as to ensure the required behaviour. The site engineer therefore, must design the mine opening or pillars after addressing all issues relevant to the design and assessment of the overall behaviour.

These courses are designed to give the operator a design procedure that has been developed in conjunction with academia and practicing operations. This design procedure has been implemented at over twenty underground metal mines around the world. The courses reference numerous authors in the field and apply their findings to arrive at tools for design. The geomechanics design group at the University of British Columbia has been instrumental in developing the design curves presented here along with the direction and sponsorship of CANMET and mining operations throughout Canada.

Design Parameters is the first of two Design for Underground Metal Mines courses by the author. The companion course is Design Guidelines.

Design Parameters provides the necessary background, in terms of input parameters for stress, structure, rock mass characterization, failure criteria and support procedures, for the design principles presented in the companion course.


  • Dr. Rimas Pakalnis


Duration: 12 Hours
Access: 90 Days
Category: Geotechnics
Level: Specialize
Version Date: January 7, 2005

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Design Parameters is structured as three parts...

  • Stress and Structure
  • Rock Mass Characterization and Failure Criteria
  • Support and Monitoring

The course comprises 11 viewing sessions at both summary and text level, plus multiple-choice reviews, and numerous figures, design tables and references. Course duration is equivalent to 12 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss data collection, implications and applications of the parameters on which the design of mine openings for underground metal mines is based.
  • Discuss the determination of in situ and induced stresses for underground mine openings.
  • Discuss data collection methods for geological structure and the influence of structure on the stability of mine openings.
  • Discuss the RMR and Q systems for rock mass characterization and their application to design of mine openings.
  • Discuss the derivation and application of appropriate failure criteria for design of mine openings.
  • Discuss the application, advantages and disadvantages of the different types of support available for ensuring the stability of mine openings.
  • Apply the knowledge gained to practical investigation, analysis and design of underground mine openings.

Recommended Background

  • A degree in mining or geotechnical engineering, engineering geology or related discipline.
  • Experience of mining operations for underground metal mines.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Edumine Certification

Learning Credits

Table of contents
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Module 1: Stress and Structure
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Knowledge Check - Module 1: Stress and Structure
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Module 2: Rock Mass Characterization and Failure Criteria
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Knowledge Check - Module 2: Rock Mass Characterization and Failure Criteria
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Module 3: Support and Monitoring
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Knowledge Check - Module 3: Support and Monitoring
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Added 6 months ago, by Mariah
This was a good course that served as a good refresher as well as teaching me a couple of new things surrounding rock mass characterization. I do feel it is a bit outdated and should be updated with better figures and present time applications or adjustments.
Added 7 months ago, by Anonymous
Really disappointing course. Poorly structured/organized with no overall "flow". Figures are poor quality screen shots, often illegible. Lots of tables as "filler" that are easily looked-up on the internet, but not explained in the course. Written explanations are convoluted and poorly worded. Exam questions with figures came up blank on my browser.
Added over 2 years ago, by Hugo Javier
Added almost 3 years ago, by Romina
Added almost 3 years ago, by Woodwarde
Simple, fast and usefull course.
Added almost 3 years ago, by Fernando
muy practico y conceptos claros.
Added almost 3 years ago, by Arturo
Nice course with lots of practical details
Added over 3 years ago, by Alexander
Ha sido un excelente curso, espero poder tener mas experiencias con Edumine con estos cursos virtuales.
Added over 3 years ago, by Andrea
Added about 4 years ago, by GUILHERME

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