Drill Blast Optimisation
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1990
Scientific drilling and blasting techniques are currently being presented to the mining industry as an aid in the overall optimisation process. The degree of success in the development of these techniques over the last ten years has prompted statements that generally relate to blasting becoming a science rather than an art. Many of the techniques are currently operated or at least analysed by scientists. As such, their use has been restricted to project type activities while the more routine activities associated with day to day mining has continued to be carried out by engineering rather than scientific staff. Some of the scientific techniques will remain legitimately as a project or an occasional use facility. Generally speaking a cost/benefit analysis at a particular mine will decide the level of use. This should logically highlight a number of techniques with potential of regular mine site use. Regular mine site use implies mine site analysis and hence the gulf between the scientist and mine operator/engineer must be addressed. There are all sorts of solutions and they are not mutually exclusive. One alternative could be to increase specialisation at the mines. With "career paths" becoming more formalised the trend would seem to be away from mine site specialists unless, for instance, this specialisation was provided by term secondment from research establishments. Another alternative could be the scientists themselves applying their developmental skills to "humanise" and "package" the projects in such a manner that they can be routinely used at mines.