Design and Application of Sublevel Stoping Methods

Design and Application of Sublevel Stoping Methods

Areas of Study: Mining

Qualifies for CMS

This course presents the features, design requirements, design guidelines and application of the different sublevel stoping methods.

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  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 4 hours

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  • Fee for Certification:
  • Not Available
  • Completion:
  • 20 days
  • CEUs:
  • 0.4 (4 PDHs)

Course Summary


This course refers to the generic mining method of sublevel stoping. The most commonly used sublevel stoping mining methods are sublevel open stoping, long-hole open stoping or blasthole stoping, and vertical crater retreat (VCR). Variations of this method include vein (Alimak) mining, transverse stoping, Avoca and longitudinal mining.

Sublevel stoping accounts for more than 60% of all underground production in North America. This is largely due to the developments of extension steels, hollow tube and special long-hole rock drills, and ITH drilling techniques requiring less development and greater production capacities. Several variations exist; however, characteristic to this method is the development from a top drill drive and removal of muck from a draw level below for a steeply dipping stope. The variations of the method are selected to suit the ground conditions and operational requirements of the mine.

This course presents the features, design requirements, design guidelines and application of the different sublevel stoping methods.

Course Content

The course comprises 5 learning sessions at both summary and text level, plus multiple-choice reviews, and numerous figures and references. Course duration is equivalent to 4 hours of learning content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate sublevel stoping methods in the context of variable orebody conditions.
  • Apply this knowledge to the underground mine design and mine planning processes.

Recommended Background

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

Rimas Pakalnis

Dr. Pakalnis is an emeritus professor with the University of British Columbia, Mining Department, in Canada, and has consulted to over 175 underground mines throughout the world. He has authored over 100 papers and is instrumental in the development of underground design methodologies in rock mechanics that are being used universally.

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes graduated with an M.A.Sc. from the University of British Columbia in 2008. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate. His thesis topic is ′Design Guidelines for Underhand Cut-and-Fill Sill Mats′. Paul has consulted with over 30 mines on projects ranging from open-pit stability, mine methods selection and underground rock mechanics.