VCR stope layout is standard in all mining areas with a stope span of 23 m and a 7 m wide rib pillar
. The orebody averages 12 m in width and dips 56-72[degrees], overturned on the south.
The VCR method of mining has reached the second stage with the beginning of rib pillar extraction.
Out of a total of 32 VCR panels between the 212 m and 285 m levels, 15 panels have been mined out and filled, leaving 17 tertiary panels (rib pillars) at 15 m intervals along the strike.
When mining advances to within 10 m of the major fault, a 9 m wide panel with a 5 m wide rib pillar
configuration is used instead of post pillars.
The Alpine breaker line support (ABLS) is a self-propelled, hydraulic roof support replacing timber props currently used in pillar extration and rib pillar
Where South African longwall activity has been curtailed, it was not replaced by room and pillar mining but rather by pillar extraction or rib pillar mining.
That year saw the introduction of rib pillar extraction to the country, by Tata Iron & Steel.
As a consequence, the stability of the quarry structures and the geometrical parameters of the sill, crown, and rib pillars are strictly connected with the drifting depth, thickness and kind of cappings, and geostructural setting of the ore body.
For that reason, rooms and square pillars have been replaced by rooms and rib pillars with a smooth and regular profile of the mining walls (Fig.
Each stope is 15 m wide, 100-150 m long, with rib pillars
18 m wide left between stopes for secondary mining.
Stoping blocks will be mined by excavating 10m wide primary rooms driven on the strike of the ore-body such that 5m wide rib pillars
separate adjacent primary rooms.