Empirical Design Methods For Underground Mines

Empirical Design Methods For Underground Mines

Areas of Study: Geotechnics

Qualifies for CMS

Short Course Short Course
  • Audience Level: Professional Tool Tip
  • Dates: Unscheduled Tool Tip
  • Early Bird: Tool Tip
  • Enrollment: Included Tool Tip
  • Registration Fee: Tool Tip
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada Tool Tip
  • Duration: 2 days
  • CEUs: 1.6 (16 PDHs) Tool Tip

Course Summary


The ultimate objective of the course is to assist the mine operator in making decisions employing sound geotechnical input with reference to case histories for relevance to safety, weak rock mass assessment, reduction in dilution, and backfill.

This course provides the operators of underground mines with the tools required to make on site pillar and opening stability assessments in order to ensure a safe and cost effective mine operation. Tools for assessing opening stability are provided. Empirical methods for considering the complex interaction of stress, opening geometry, structure, and rock mass are provided. Ample time is given for solving stability problems and participants are strongly encouraged to bring case histories or questions from their own operations.

Case history data brought to class should include stope or pillar geometry, depth, and estimated stress levels as well a description of the rock mass and photos as possible.

Participants will learn how to:

  • make decisions on site stability assessments of openings and pillars;
  • develop an understanding of the critical field data required for stability assessment;
  • judge the influence of rock mechanics on the stability of planned openings; and
  • understand the influence of rock mechanics on overall mine design.

For details of topics covered see the course schedule.

Over four hundred participants throughout North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia have taken this course over the last twenty years; it is recognized by mining operations in North America as providing "common core" training for onsite personnel in the field of rock mechanics.

People interested in this course may also want to register for Rock Mass Characterization for Mine Design, scheduled to run in the same week.

Pre-Course e-Learning

Prior to the course, registered delegates have access to online e-learning material consisting of two introductory courses titled Design for Underground Metal Mines 1 - Design Parameters and Design for Underground Metal Mines 2 - Design Guidelines.

Certificate in Mining Studies

This course qualifies for two days of short course credit for the Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS), a continuing education program of accredited short courses, webcasts and online courses for lifelong learning in mining, supported by University of British Columbia, University of Arizona and University of Concepción. more details »

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This course meets the requirements for formal CPD activity for most Canadian provincial associations and US state boards and may contribute the equivalent in hours towards your CPD requirement. more details »

Who Should Attend?

The course is directed at ground control, mine planning and chief engineers/geologists.

Dr. 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.

Provisional Schedule

Day 1: 15 June 2017, from 8:15am to 5:00pm
Time Session
08:15 – 08:45 Registration
08:45 – 09:00 Introduction
09:00 – 10:00

Input Parameters Towards Design

  • Stress/Structure/Rock Mass and Implications on Design
10:00 – 10:30 Break with refreshments
10:30 – 12:00

Data Gathering

  • Mapping and Analysis using Stereonets/UNWEDGE
12:00 – 01:00 Lunch
01:00 – 02:45

Data Gathering

  • RMR and Q
02:45 – 03:00 Break with refreshments
03:00 – 04:00

Data Gathering

  • Core Logging and Rock Mass Properties
04:00 – 05:00

Support Design

  • Structure
Day 2: 16 June 2017, from 8:30am to 5:00pm
Time Session
08:30 – 10:00

Pillar Design

  • Stress Estimation (2D Model Examined)
10:00 – 10:30 Break with refreshments
10:30 – 12:00

Opening Design (non-entry)

  • Modified Stability Graph and ELOS Graph
12:00 – 01:00 Lunch
01:00 – 02:00

Opening Design (entry)

  • Span Estimation (Cut & Fill/Drift)
02:00 – 02:45

Support Design (Empirical)

  • Empirical Cable Bolt Support
  • Sub-Level HW Support
02:45 – 03:00 Break with refreshments
03:00 – 05:00

Case Histories:

  • Longhole Stoping Dilution Control/Shallow Dipping Stoping
  • Backfill Strength Requirements
  • Weak Rock Mass Stoping
  • Other

How to Register

To register yourself, click the ‘Register Now’ button and complete the online registration form.
To register on behalf of someone else, or to register groups of 3 or more, please contact us; discounts may apply.

Questions? Please contact Edumine: +1 604 683 2037 or edumine-support@infomine.com and we will get back to you during regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Time.


The fee covers the lecture, access to Pre-Course e-learning, a certificate of attendance, and catered breakfasts and lunches including light refreshments. The fee does not cover accommodation.

Early Bird: there is a 10% discount if you register at least 30 days prior to the course start date. A 10% discount is offered for groups of 5 or more OR if you provide your Annual Edumine subscription User ID at time of registration. The maximum discount that can be applied is 20%.


The course will be held at InfoMine Inc, Vancouver, Canada, Suite 640 - 580 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC. Detailed arrival instructions will be sent to all participants 10-14 days prior to the commencement of the course.

Hotel Accommodation

If you need to make hotel reservations, we recommend the following hotels. Each hotel is within a 5-15 minute walking distance of the course venue and provides convenient access to transportation and 'Canada Line' rapid transit to/from Vancouver International Airport.

When making reservations make sure to ask for the "InfoMine corporate rate".

  • Executive Hotel Le Soleil, named by Resorts & Great Hotels Magazine as "One of the Top 100 Hotels in the World," has been recipient of the American Automobile Association's (AAA) 4-Diamond rating since its opening. Executive Hotel Le Soleil differentiates itself with a unique mixture of stylish sophistication and old world elegance. Featuring 119 luxury boutique lodging accommodations, it is conveniently located across the street from the InfoMine/Edumine offices. Experience Copper Chimney restaurant's award winning chefs and enter into an exotic world of Indian fusion food.
    The Hotel Le Soleil's website is: http://www.hotellesoleil.com.

  • Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver: make yourself at home in one of the Metropolitan Hotel's 197 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites. Enjoy the Metropolitan's 24-hour Business Center; fully-equipped Health Club with indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, and squash court; and the Diva at the Met restaurant, a AAA 4-Diamond rated restaurant featuring Vancouver's finest cuisine, celebrated Chef's table, and distinguished wine cellar. The Metropolitan has received a "4 Green Keys" rating through the Green Key Eco-Rating Program.
    The Metropolitan Hotel's website is: http://www.metropolitan.com/vanc/.

  • Vancouver’s most art-full hotel, the Listel Hotel is a cultural tourist’s dream and a showcase for eco-friendly practices. Packed with original art, this 129 room boutique hotel boasts comfortable, contemporary furnishings and a perfect location in the West End, the city’s most eclectic shopping and dining neighbourhood. The hotel is also home to Forage, a pioneer in sustainable restaurant operations and home to Chef Chris Whittaker’s award-winning farm-to-table fare. Forage is known for its small plate dining and BC wine and craft beer on tap.
    The Listel Hotel's website is: http://www.thelistelhotel.com.

  • Days Inn Downtown Vancouver Hotel: experience the modern comforts of the historic full-service business hotel located in the core of downtown Vancouver. Their West Coast hospitality will ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Discover true value at the Days Inn Downtown Vancouver Hotel as they provide FREE Wireless Internet, Bottled Water / Tea & Small Business Center. InfoMine’s corporate rate includes $10.00 breakfast voucher, best available room at check-in, Day Pass to Health and Fitness Centre around the corner.
    The Days Inn Downtown's website is: http://www.daysinnvancouver.com/.

  • The Delta Vancouver Suites is a 225 all-suite property designed with business travel in mind. Centrally located in the Heritage District of downtown Vancouver, the hotel is just one block from Waterfront Station, the main hub of the Canada Line providing convenient and economical transportation to/from the Vancouver International Airport. The hotel is in close proximity to many corporate offices, the Vancouver Convention Centre and government offices making business connections easy. Attractions such as Rogers Arena and BC Place Stadium and neighborhoods including Gastown, home to many of the best restaurants Vancouver has to offer are all a short walk away. The Delta Vancouver Suites' website is: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/yvrdv-delta-hotels-vancouver-suites/.

For further information about hotels in Downtown Vancouver, see the following website: http://www.hotels-vancouver.ca/hotels/Downtown.

Terms and Conditions

By submitting a short course registration form, you agree to pay the associated fees in full before the course start date.


Notice of cancellation must be given in writing by letter, fax or email and action will be taken to recover, from the delegates or their employers, that portion of the fee owing at the time of cancellation.

A 10% administration fee will be levied for cancellations made 4 or more weeks prior to the first day of the course. Thereafter, the following cancellation refund schedule will apply.

  • Cancellation made more than 3 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 70% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made more than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 50% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made less than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: no reimbursement of registration fees.

Edumine reserves the right to cancel an advertised course on short notice. It will endeavour to provide participants with as much notice as possible, but will not accept liability for costs incurred by participants or their organisations as a result of the course being cancelled or postponed. If a course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full. Edumine also reserves the right to postpone or make such alterations to the content of a course as may be necessary.

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