Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

Ken Mills and Jesse Puller, Development of the ANZI strain cell for three dimensional in situ stress determinations in deep exploration boreholes, in Naj Aziz and Bob Kininmonth (eds.), Proceedings of the 17th Coal Operators' Conference, Mining Engineering, University of Wollongong, 8-10 February 2017, 138-148.


The Australia, New Zealand Inflatable (ANZI) strain cell is an instrument used to determine the three dimensional in situ stresses with a high level of confidence, through the overcoring method of stress relief. The ANZI cell has been used for over three decades at numerous sites around the world, typically in short inclined boreholes drilled from underground mines. Technical advances during the last decade have seen the ANZI cell deployed and overcored in increasingly deeper surface exploration boreholes. Recent development of a downhole electronic data logger, a wireline enabled drilling system and an instrument deployment system has greatly simplified the process of obtaining three dimensional overcore measurements at depth. This paper describes the ANZI strain cell, its operation and recent development for overcoring in exploration boreholes. The capability to deploy ANZI strain cells in exploration boreholes represents a significant breakthrough for the design of underground mines and underground excavations generally. Being able to obtain high confidence measurements of the in situ stresses at the planning stage of any underground construction activity provides the opportunity to take advantage of these stresses. Not only does it become possible to protect key infrastructure by locating it away from areas of stress concentration, advantage can be taken of the major stresses to promote caving through appropriate design.