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|This is a sampling of the papers presented at the conference, the proceedings can be bought from the SAIMM The technique reported here involves measuring the air pressures generated within sealed boreholes located behind blasts. Results from twelve free face blasts in competent rock environments a represented. There were no instances of high pressure gas penetration, even at distances corresponding to less than one blast burden. Rapidly generated underpressures were measured in most holes, with the magnitudes of the peak pressures decreasing with distance behind the blasts. It has been proposed that the under pressures are the result of new volume created due to crack formation and overall rock mass dilation. The experimental evidence is consistent with this, including a correspondence of the onset times of the peak underpressures with the nominal firing times of the nearest blastholes. New post-blast cracks were observed when using borehole video cameras in the monitoring holes. A calculation of new volume produced within the monitoring holes is proposed as an indicator of damage. While the data exhibit considerable scatter, there is a power function dependence on scaled distance, which resembles that of typical vibration data. The data also lie within the normally quoted vibration regimes for rock damage and are consistent with measured extents of damage. It is concluded that this technique may provide an inexpensive and practical comparative measure of near-field rock damage due to blasting. It is further concluded that gas penetration is not a common phenomenon. Damage appears to be mainly attributable to the nearest blastholes and the control of charge mass in perimeter blastholes is emphasized for damage minimization.|