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Drilling and Blasting

Micon also offers a wide range of consultancy services pertaining to drilling and blasting in surface and underground mines. The services include blast audits, problem solving, blast optimisation and training.

Blast Audits – All aspects of the drilling and blasting will be assessed including drilling performance, hole diameter, blast pattern, explosives specifications, initiation sequence, fragmentation and displacement This activity requires making a site visit to understand the mine design, mining method and to benchmark the existing production activities.

Blasting

The specifications of the drilling and blasting equipment are documented. The explosives products and blasting parameters are recorded. The shotfiring crew and several blast are observed and videoed to gain a full understanding of the problems being experienced.

Problem Solving – From the initial visit, recommendations can be made to establish trials or changes to the blast parameters to resolve the problems such as ore dilution and losses, fragmentation, blast damage to final walls, ground vibration, airblast, misfires and flyrock in surface mines and fragmentation, overbreak and blast damage in underground development drives and stopes. Further fieldwork may be required to undertake fragmentation analysis, vibration and airblast readings and velocity of detonation measurements. Parameter changes may include adjustments to drilling direction, explosives type and quantity, initiation sequence, stemming material, hole diameter and length as well as applying specialised blasting techniques such as trim blasting and presplitting.

Problem

Blast Optimisation – Optimising blast parameters by using specialised analysis techniques to provide potential cost reduction savings. This includes:

  • a dilution study to maximise ore production by examining blast sequencing and selective digging techniques;
  • fragmentation analysis to measure wear and tear on machinery and to match rock size with the processing equipment;
  • vibration and air blast monitoring to certify compliance with statutory or site ground vibration and air overpressures limits; and
  • perimeter control review to ensure that blast damage, overbreak and ground support is kept to a minimum

Training Courses – Micon can provide training courses in country which can be site specific to the customers’ needs. The courses can be presented to all levels of management from shotfirers to engineers.