Small-Charge Cone-Fracture Technique for Rapid Excavation
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1990
A small-charge rapid excavation system employing a novel penetrating cone fracture initiation and propagation technique has been demonstrated to be capable of excavating the hardest of rocks at efficiencies (energy per unit volume of rock removed) four to ten times greater than attainable with conventional drill and blast. Significant enhancements to the concept developed during the research efforts include the use of propellant rather than explosive charges and a device for containing the charges and effectively sealing the shot-holes. The experimental results, including the excavation of several tons of hard rock in a research mine, have confirmed the novel breakage process and provided a data base for the design of a continuous hard rock mining machine based upon the concept. The small-charge excavation system would be attractive for civil construc-tion operations where sensitive structures, equipment and personnel would be in close proximity to the excavation face. The system would be attractive for selective mining operations where the ore rock could be fragment-ed and processed separately from the barren country rock. The barren rock could then be backfilled underground and eliminated from the traditional hauling and milling operations.