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|This paper reviews the instrumentation and monitoring of blasthole drills and electric mining shovels at a surface coal mine in western Canada. The drill monitoring component involved the development and implementation of microprocessor-based hardware on Bucyrus-Erie 45R and 60R drills. Over a two year period 3800 metres of blasthole drilling were monitored The drill data was subsequently correlated with core and geophysical logs towards identifying unique and reproducible ranges of performance parameter data for the different rock types penetrated. Using this technique, the geology of the study area benches was characterized in detail. Once these same benches had been blasted, the performance of a P&H 2800XP shovel was monitored as it worked through the blasted ground. In this regard, the influence of different digging conditions on shovel performance were identified in a range of blast and geological environments within the study area. The precise nature of these environments was confirmed by a correlation with the interpreted drill monitored data and muckpile size distributions obtained from a digital photo-analysis study. The excavation of 500 000 bcm of waste was thus monitored and a digging index derived which reflected variations in muckpile diggability. The paper concludes by proposing an integrated monitoring approach which, as a first step, uses interpreted drill data for explosive loading. This capability would permit greater accuracy in explosives loading ie. charge placement within higher strength lithologies, while avoiding weaker units. The performance of an instrumented shovel would then be monitored as it works through the resulting muckpile. Interpretation of the shovel performance data would determine the overall quality of the blast in terms of a digging index (DI), providing an indication of the relative digging effort and the effectiveness of the blast design.|