Underground Mine Backfill 1 - Introduction

Underground Mine Backfill 1 - Introduction

Areas of Study: Mining

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Qualifies for Certification

This course is the first in a set of two underground mine backfill courses. It provides an introduction to mine backfill properties, types, uses, mining methods and system layout. It provides a standard from which operators can understand the basic principles and practices for using underground mine backfill.

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

Course Summary


Underground Mine Backfill 1 - Introduction is the first in a set of two Underground Mine Backfill courses. This course is intended as an introduction to mine backfill properties, types, uses, mining methods and system layout. Underground Mine Backfill 2 - Slurry, Paste and Rock Fills reviews each backfill type and its preparation, distribution, stope preparation and placement practices as well as relevant safety and quality control issues. A review quiz can be found at the end of each section to evaluate your understanding of the material presented.

The objective of the courses is to provide an overview of common underground mine backfill practices and technologies for mine technical personnel. The goals are to:

  • Provide a standard from which operators can understand the basic principles and practices for using underground mine backfill.
  • Provide an understanding of how critical the role of backfill and backfill personnel are for mining.
  • Provide a common foundation for backfill training.
  • Provide a uniform backfill terminology.
  • Provide an understanding of the various stages of backfill systems.
  • Provide an understanding of potential hazards to personnel and equipment safety in order to prevent backfill-related accidents.
As many companies have site- and company-specific standards for their unique situations, training for specific operational duties is beyond the scope of this course and is left to mine site-training procedures. This course is not intended to replace existing mine training practices, but to complement them as a common reference.

Course Content

Underground Mine Backfill 1 consists of 15 viewing sessions of 30 - 60 minutes each with supporting figures, tables and examples, plus interactive course reviews. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 15 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the basic principles and practices for using underground mine backfill.
  • Discuss the critical roles of backfill and backfill personnel in underground mining.
  • Discuss the various stages of backfill systems.
  • Discuss the potential hazards to personnel, equipment safety, and prevention of backfill-related accidents.
  • Apply the knowledge gained to their unique mine-site requirements and training procedures.

Recommended Background

  • Experience of underground mining operations and mine backfill operations (recommended).
  • A degree or diploma in mining engineering or equivalent.

James Archibald

Professor Archibald's research activities include in-situ stress measurement studies requiring extensive field analysis and computer modelling of stress parameter data determined underground. His research interests also include the study of backfill physical properties for frozen, radioactive and composite materials, as well as the effects of membrane barrier substances in restricting diffusion flow of radon gas into mine occupational environments. He is currently involved in major investigative efforts for mining industry and government sponsored research groups dealing with development of innovative ground support techniques and procedures for the mitigation of environmental hazards associated with acid mine drainage. His principal research presently concentrates upon design of spray-on coatings, the utilization of total mill waste for in-situ support, replacement of cement binder materials in backfill using ground landfill waste glass and the application of spray polyurethane coatings for reducing acid mine drainage from surface tailings storage sites.

David O. DeGagne

David DeGagne is a PhD student at Queen's University - Mining Engineering, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, involved in research on optimization of ore recovery in sub-level cave mining.

Ferri Hassani

Ferri Hassani is the Director of Mining Engineering and current holder of the Webster Chair in Mining Engineering. He is a graduate in Mining Engineering from Nottingham University (BSc and PhD) His teaching and research relate principally to rock mechanics, geosensing and mine backfill.

Jacques Nantel

Jacques Nantel (P. Eng) has been involved with the mining industry for more than 35 years in various capacities including responsibilities in mine operations, engineering, management, university teaching, research and consulting.

His experience covers several fields ranging from underground mining and development, mine design and feasibility, ground support and mine backfill, radiation in mines, electrical explosives, mine equipment, mine automation and mining and environmental research.

Throughout his career he has held a variety of positions of increasing responsibilities from miner, to chief mine engineer, to mine superintendent, to university professor at Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, to director of mining research at Noranda Inc., to mining consultant.

His experience covers a broad range of areas in the research and consulting fields. A few areas of activities include: testing and evaluation of backfill materials for suitability as underground mine fill; design of backfill materials; work of frozen backfill for mines located in zones of permafrost; evaluation of backfill material for uranium mines; investigation of slag backfill; design of fill bulkheads and fences; instrumentation and monitoring for backfill systems; review and reporting on a number of mine fatalities involving mine backfills and other materials; development of a novel blasting method using electricity to replace chemical explosives; use of automated mining equipment to remove human operators from dangerous situations and to streamline the mining process.

Jacques Nantel is the author of several papers on mine backfill and a co-author of the textbook entitled Fill Technology in Underground Metalliferous Mines published in 1979.