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ArticleName Experience of Iletsk salt mining
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2015.09.13
ArticleAuthor Mozer S. P., Kovalev O. V., Tkhorikov I. Yu.

Author 1:
Name & Surname: Mozer S. P.
Company: Orica CIS (Moscow, Russia)
Work Position: Business-coach
Scientific Degree: Candidate of Engineering Sciences

Author 2:
Name & Surname: Kovalev O. V.
Company: National Mineral Resources University — Mining University (Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
Scientific Degree: Professor
Scientific Degree: Doctor of Engineering Sciences

Author 3:
Name & Surname: Tkhorikov I. Yu.
Company: National Mineral Resources University — Mining University (Saint-Petersburg, Russia)
Scientific Degree: Researcher
Scientific Degree: Candidate of Engineering Sciences


Iletsk deposit of rock salt is located in the Orenburg Region (South Ural) and belongs in the group of dome-type deposits. The ellipse-like salt dome has a depth of 23.6 m with lateral dimensions of 1×2 km on top and 4×6 km at the finite depth. Since the 17th century, the salt deposit has been mined with open pits first and later on by underground method. Due to high moisture content and heavy jointing of the top of the deposit, the underground mining (Mine 1) was carried out in difficult geological and geotechnical conditions, under permanent water inrush. Taking this into account, construction of Mine 2 was launched in 1950, far below Mine 1 and was separated from the latter by a thick (80–130 m) impermeable solid rock block. In 1967 Mine 2 was commissioned and became the main salt producer. In 1979 accidental surface water inrush took place in Mine 1, and the decision on the mine flooding was taken. As a consequence, a family of 5 sink lakes arose on the ground surface; the lake water and bottom sediments possess medicinal properties, and a national balneary has been created at the lakes. Panels in Mine 2 (30 m wide and high, 120–320 m long) are cut by layers (2 m high) by a shovel and self-propelled cars. Cut salt is hauled to salt chute, wherefrom it is delivered by a district conveyor to the main conveyor and is finally transported to a loading hopper at a skip shaft of the mine. Backfilling uses wet salt. The issue of using mine waste as backfill material is currently under discussion.

keywords Rock salt, dome-type deposit, underground mining, stope, backfilling, mine flooding, sink lakes

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