Modeling deformation of rib pillars during backfill

Potash magnesium sulfate mining is currently faced with unfavorably low ore recovery and high flooding risks. Backfill offers a solution to this problem. This article reviews the international experience gained in salt mining with backfill, types of backfills, as well as the role and purpose of backfill in ground control. It is concluded that the present-day practice of potash magnesium mining lacks a science-based analysis of a reaction pressure of fill masses on their load-bearing capacity and on deformation of rib pillars composed of salt rock. With this object in mine, a geomechanical model is constructed in FLAC 2D environment. For modeling loose salt rocks, the physical and mechanical properties of crushed halite were tested on a laboratory scale. The model determined the stress–strain behavior patterns in the rib pillar–fill mass–enclosing rock mass system at different degrees of filling in stopes with hydraulic and loose backfill. The modeling results allowed conclusions on the influence exerted by the type of backfill and by the stope filling with backfill on the stress–strain behavior of rib pillars. Backfill reinforces rib pillars and improves their load-bearing capacity.

Keywords: rib pillar, stope, backfill, occupancy, degree of filling, potash magnesium beds, computer-aided modeling.
For citation:

Kovalski E. R., Gromtsev K. V., Petrov D. N. Modeling deformation of rib pillars during backfill. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2020;(8):87-101. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/02361493-2020-8-0-87-101.

Issue number: 9
Year: 2020
Page number: 87-101
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 622.273.2
DOI: 10.25018/0236-1493-2020-9-0-87-101
Article receipt date: 20.11.2019
Date of review receipt: 06.05.2020
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 20.08.2020
About authors:

E.R. Kovalski1, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Assistant Professor, e-mail:,
K.V. Gromtsev1, Graduate Student, e-mail:,
D.N. Petrov1, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Assistant Professor, e-mail:,
1 Saint-Petersburg Mining University, 199106, Saint-Petersburg, Russia


For contacts:

K.V. Gromtsev, e-mail:


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