Many gold mines in South Africa are situated 2 to 4 km deep in sedimentary deposits extending for hundreds of square kilometers along mostly tabular reefs often less than one-meter thick. AngloGold Ashanti’s operational depth of mining increases every year following a declining gold reef with the surrounding rock experiencing large displacements. The mine seeks to understand the rock behavior, especially brittle failure mechanisms, inherent at depth with the ultimate goal being to develop a rational methodology for mine design, especially as mining continues deeper.
Dr. KATSaga is a geomechanics engineer with a Ph.D. in civil engineering. Her area of expertise is on the mechanics and numerical simulation of continuum and discrete media. She has more than 15 years of research and consulting experience.