Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Yvette Heritage, Adrian Moodie and James Anderson, Successful Construction of a Complex 3D Excavation Using 2D and 3D Modelling, 15th Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Mine Managers Association of Australia, 2015, 94-102.


Austar Coal Mine (Austar) successfully constructed an underground coal storage bin at a deep mine in challenging conditions. SCT Operations (SCT) was involved in various geotechnical assessments related to the bin excavation including vertical separation of the bin drift and underlying seam roadways, bin top area roof design and support and seam roof support at the bin base. Traditional methods used for determining support recommendations can be difficult to apply to complex three dimensional excavations. SCT used a combination of two dimensional and three dimensional numerical modelling using FLAC 2D and FLAC 3D to understand the key drivers and modes of failure about the bin excavation.The staged process of construction and an interactive approach between Austar and SCT enabled review and validation of the modelling process to occur throughout the construction. A key lesson from this program of work is that there is value in an interactive approach whereby site monitoring and review of model properties during construction provides early validation of the model. This ensures that natural geological variability, which can have significant impacts on rock failure and deformation, can be incorporated into the model as an ongoing process.