MNE3050 - Underground mining - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Civil Engineering


Professor Jerry Tien

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


This unit covers mining method and equipment selection for the optimum performance of underground operations. For each of the mining methods explored consideration is given to the mining cycle; ground control; potential for high stress and seismically active conditions; access - e.g. shafts and/or declines; fragmentation; materials handling; and ventilation requirements.

Backfill is an important component of underground mining operations, as mining companies are challenged to minimize their impact while maximising returns. Modern mine design utilises backfill to improve worker safety, increase ore recovery and help reach sustainability goals. This unit describes the backfill systems used at mining operations that include, waste rock fill, cemented rock fill, hydraulic fill and paste fill. Through practical applications, student will explore the selection of optimal backfill systems and related methods of distribution and materials handling.


At the conclusion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the elements required to design and operate a modern underground mining operation.
  2. Assess the most appropriate underground mining method/s for specific in situ conditions.
  3. Synthesise knowledge about the various auxiliary functions critical to a modern mechanised underground operation to develop an efficient and sustainable mining plan.
  4. Assess the most suitable backfill system for a specific underground operation.


Assignment/Practical/Project work (continuous assessment): 50%

Closed Book Examination (3 hours): 50%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component (assignments, tests, mid-semester exams, laboratory reports) and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures, 2 hours practice class and 7 hours private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


ESC2111 or (MNE2010 and MNE2030)