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Mine Design & Numerical Modelling Lab



Portrait of Prof. Hani Mitri
Hani Mitri
Principal Investigator

Groundbreaking news! McGill University research team of Professor Hani Mitri – Director of McGill’s Mine Design Laboratory, has recently completed the first underground mine trial to break hard rock without explosives. Situated more than 500 m below surface, the trial site is an excavation intersection that was to be slightly widened (slashed) to facilitate mobile equipment traffic.

The McGill team used the so-called soundless chemical demolition agent SCDA to perform the trial. SCDA is a powdery cementitious material that when mixed with water and injected in a borehole, it will expand and exert pressure on the borehole. The McGill team designed a novel borehole pattern along with a new method to inject the holes using 3D Printing technology.

The trial slash fractured after 17 hours, and the broken rock was easily removed with a scale bar. This is the first of a series of trials to be conducted in 2022.



The Mine Design & Numerical Modelling Laboratory is generously supported by a number of sponsors. We are most grateful for their support. For more information on our sponsors please visit their website.