Easily corrected blasting deficiencies

By |  June 11, 2019

Equipment manufacturers offer advice that aggregate producers can put to use to enhance their blasting operations.

Nathan Rouse, Respec


Lower your tolerance for blast-produced fines

Respec’s Nathan Rouse discusses a result that’s common just about everywhere

The impact of blasting on fines generation is one overlooked area for many operations.

Even though many operations have large piles of low- or zero-value fines, blast-generated fines should not be overlooked. Fines are difficult to quantify and are a result of both blasting and crushing, as operations are often motivated to utilize the cheapest blast design.

Operations should consider evaluating unconventional blasting practices to reduce blast-generated fines. If fines production can be reduced from blasting and crushing, then operations can increase yield while reducing their overall cost per ton.

Nathan Rouse is manager of explosives engineering at Respec.

Braden Lusk, Dyno Nobel


Why blast design is so critical

Execute the simple things first before aiming too high, says Dyno Nobel’s Braden Lusk

Most operations want to run headlong into optimization projects. Sometimes, they want to change the design of a blast to enhance performance one way or another.

Unfortunately, operations simply aren’t ready for optimization in many cases. The first step to improve an operation is to ensure basic execution of blast designs. Holes should be drilled in the correct location and have little deviation. Likewise, holes should be loaded as they’re designed.

It’s difficult to improve operations through design changes if patterns aren’t drilled and loaded to design in the first place.

Braden Lusk is vice president of Dyno Consult at Dyno Nobel.

Mark Roberts, Maptek


How drilling and blasting affect your operation as a whole

Maptek’s Mark Roberts issues a stark reminder

Drilling and blasting typically equate to 20 percent of a mining operation’s cost per ton, providing an opportunity to improve and reduce costs.

Developing effective designs that align drill pattern, charge and tie-up plans to the mine’s conditions, as well as measuring their successful execution, all remain a significant industry opportunity.

Compliance to design directly impacts a blast’s performance. Routinely and reliably measuring the effectiveness of designs is difficult where insufficient information exists, or where the information does exist and is not readily reconciled.

Objectively assessing the effectiveness of blast designs against desired outcomes is only possible once this variability is quantified. This is best done by measuring and tracking blast designs against defined tolerances during execution.

Mark Roberts is BlastLogic product manager at Maptek.

Tom Palangio, WipWare


Utilize the vast technology available to you

Producers might be surprised what’s out there, says WipWare’s Tom Palangio

Too many aggregate operations don’t measure their blast’s results.

It was difficult to measure blasts in the past because it could disrupt the operation, or the technology wasn’t available to do it. But tools are available today that provide operations tremendous details that make a difference.

Some operations use a drone after blasting. Others simply utilize an iPad after downloading a useful app.

Quantify your blasts, and then you can benchmark them to see if what you’re doing today is right. That’s the secret to any kind of optimization. You have to be able to track it.

Aggregate operations are somewhat different than mining operations. The attitude seems to be “as long as we can break it small enough to get it into a crusher.” But if you can drill and blast more efficiently, it will really impact your bottom line.

Tom Palangio is president of WipWare.

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