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|Compared with modern longwall coal mining systems, automation has not been developed very far in the underground metal minin industry. One of the main reasons for this is that present har rock mining systems do not produce ore with a controlled degre of fragmentation. The often poor fragmentation from the stopescauses large extra costs and precludes material which 1-ends itself to automationThe paper investigates the possibility c technology for automatic loading and trapconveyor belt to a shaft dump pocket. With this concept, it will be necessary to control the maximum fragment size by careful blasting design. The degree of fragmentation will have to be finer than is common to-day. The study shows that the belt conveyor mining con-cept with controlled fragmentation may be economically competitive with conventional cyclic loading and transport, even for an annual production as low as 0.5 mill. tonnes.. Fragmentation design and cost calculations have been based on a combination of the Kuznetsov relationship between blasting parameters and mean frag-ment size, and the Rosin-Rammler formula for fragment size distribution.|