Mining in Manitoba

Shrinkage Mining

Engineering Considerations

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A mining method in which ore is mined from a vein from the bottom up. First, a drift is dug at one level of the vein. Progressively higher levels are blasted and allowed to fill in much of the void (except for a working space). Since broken up rock has air spaces between the pieces, the overall volume is larger than the original vein, so broken ore must be removed from the vein with each cut.
The miners are always working on a surface of broken up ore. Eventually, the entire vein has been blasted and is filled with broken ore. The miners then pull out and extract the broken up ore by a process similar to block caving. Shrink stoping is used for high-grade vein orebodies.