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|The object of most blasting operations is to destroy the insitu structure of the rock mass so that mechanical equipment can efficiently excavate the rock fragments. In achieving this objective the blasting engineer is also concerned with minimising damage to the adjacent rock which forms the mine structure relied upon to provide support. Damage to this "structural" rock is undesirable but usually occurs as a result of two distinct processes: ò readjustment of stresses around the excavation as a result of the mining process itself ò impact of vibration and high pressure gases from blasting operations. Gross damage to mine structures from either cause is observed as visible alteration to the appearance of the rock structure in the form of cracking, slabbing, back or over break and visible displacement. Recent work at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) has shown that significant reduction in the strength of a rock mass can take place well before the onset of these obvious signs of damage. It has been demonstrated that the effect of blast damage on the behaviour of the rock mass can be many times more prominent than the effect of stress redistribution. This offers the blast design engineer the opportunity to significantly reduce blast induced damage to rock structure by modifying blasting practices. This paper introduces the current JKMRC postgraduate research projects investigating the evaluation and control of blast damage.|