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|Drilling and blasting constitute important activity in mining operations and account for around 20% of the total excavation cost. The utilization coefficient of energy for explosions of the fragmentation type is hardly 15 to 2035 and an enhancement in this is possible only through optimization of blast design. Designing a 'blast is a complex planning task, which for optimum results calls for matching the energy level of the explosive, rock properties and bench geometry. Optimum blast design needs a comprehensive study and an objective analysis of the intersecting elements. A cost optimised approach is often adopted with due consideration for all the cost sectors viz., drilling, blasting, loading, hauling dumping, and primary crushing, contributing to the overall miring cost. The present study deals with a performance prediction model which predicts the optimum burden for an explosive system in a given rock type to produce a certain desired fragment size. The model is framed on the inputs : shovel size, drill size, unit cost of drilling, bench dimensions, rock density, bond index, unit cost of explosive, maximum work potential. The model has been extended to compute the drilling and blasting costs for an assumed size of the bench to be blasted per round, so as to arrive at the overall cost optimization from a number of explosive systems. A comparative cost calculation with different explosive systems has been presented for a typical iron ore mine in India.|