Senior Mining Engineer – Operations, Cannington Mine, South32
Several paste backfill bulkhead failures over the space of 12 months demanded that paste inrush risk at Cannington be re-evaluated. The resulting risk assessment led to the introduction of a set of new operating rules for high risk filling conditions to ensure safer use of the popular backfill method at the mine.
This paper will talk operators through the high potential incidents which occurred, the primary causes and the risk assessment which followed. Implementable actions utilised at Cannington are shared, while challenging other operations to consider their own current level of risk with regards to the use of paste backfill.