Analysing the Role of Safety Level and Capital Investment in Selection of Underground Metal Mining Method

Document Type : Research Paper


SCOPE, VIT Chennai


It is one of the important tasks to select a suitable mining method for economic and safely extraction of the specific ore deposit. The selection of individual mining methods depends on multiple factors like dip, shape, thickness, depth, grade distribution, RMR (rock mass rating) of ore and adjacent strata, and RSS (rock substance strength) of ore and adjacent strata. The present study aims to analyse the role of two extrinsic factors (safety and capital) in the selection of underground metal mining method. A fuzzy-AHP decision making model is developed to analyse the possible changes in the mining method with different levels of safety and capital. The study considers seven alternatives or mining methods (block caving, sublevel stoping, sublevel caving, room and pillar mining, shrinkage stoping, cut and fill stoping and square set stoping) in the model. The results revealed that the preference level or ranking of different mining method in a particular condition like low safety (SAL), medium safety (SAM), high safety (SAH), low capital (CL), medium capital (CM), and high capital (CH) remains same for different decision-making attitude and uncertainty level.


[1] Namin ES, Shahriar K, Ataee-Pour M, Dehghani H. A new model for mining method selection of mineral deposit based on fuzzy decision-making . J of the South Afri Inst of Mining and Metallurgy 2008; 108(7): 385–395.
[2] Naghadehi MZ, Mikaeil R, Ataei M. The application of fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (FAHP) approach to selection of optimum underground mining method for Jajarm Bauxite Mine, Iran. Exp Sys with Applications 2009; 36(4): 8218– 8226.
[3] Mikaeil R, Naghadehi M Z, Ataei M, Khalokakaie R. A decision support system using fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP) and TOPSIS approaches for selection of the optimum underground mining method. Arch of Min Science 2009; 54(2): 349–368.
[4] Alpay S, Yavuz M. A Decision Support System for Underground Mining. In Okuno HG, Ali M, editors. New Trends in Applied Artificial Intelligence Decision Support Systems, Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Industrial, Engineering and Other Applications of Applied Intelligent Systems, IEA/AIE 2007, Kyoto, Japan, June 26–29; 2007, p. 334–343.
[5] Gupta S, Kumar U. An analytical hierarchy process (AHP) guided decision model for underground mining method selection. Int J of Min Reclam and Env 2012; 26(4):324–336.
[6] Yavuz M. The application of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and Yager’s method in underground mining method selection problem. Int J of Min Reclam and Env 2015; 29(6):453–475.
[7] Dehghani H, Siami A, Haghi P. A new model for mining method selection based on grey and TODIM methods. J of Min and Env 2017; 8(1): 49–60.
[8] Balusa BC, Gorai AK. Design of a multi-criteria decisionmaking (MCDM) model using fuzzy-AHP for selection of appropriate underground metal mining method. Int j of min and miner eng. (In press).
[9] Balusa BC, Gorai AK. Sensitivity analyzis of fuzzy-analytic hierarchical process (FAHP) decision-making model in selection of underground metal mining method. J of Sust Min 2018.
[10] Balusa BC, Gorai AK. A Comparative Study of Various Multicriteria Decision-Making Models in Underground Mining Method Selection. J of the Inst of Engineers (India): Series D 2018; 1-17.
[11] Balusa BC, Singam J. Underground Mining Method Selection Using WPM and PROMETHEE. Journal of The Institution of Engineers (India): Series D 2018; 99:165-171.
[12] Stebbins Scott A, Otto LS. Cost estimating for underground mines. Hustrulid WA, Bullock RL, editors. Underground mining methods: Engineering fundamentals and international case studies, USA: SME; 2001, p.49-72.
[13] Hartman HL, Mutmansky JM. Introductory mining engineering. 2nd  John Wiley & Sons; 2002.
[14] Tatiya RR. Surface and underground excavations: methods, techniques, and equipment. 2nd ed. CRC Press; 2013.
[15] Saaty TL. The analytic hierarchy process: planning, priority setting, resources allocation. McGraw-Hill; 1980.
[16] Gorai AK, Kanchan, Upadhyay A, Tuluri F, Goyal P, Tchounwou PB. An innovative approach for determination of air quality health index. Science of the Total Environment 2015; 533: 495–505.
[17] Lee AR. Application of modified fuzzy AHP method to analyze bolting sequence of structural joints (Doctoral Dissertation). Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA, USA.1995. [18] Azadeh A, Osanloo M, Ataei-Pour M. A new approach to mining method selection based on modifying the Nicholas technique. Applied Soft Computing 2010; 10(4): 1040-1061.