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|A recently-developed model is used as a tool to optimise the design of blasts used to create final walls in large open pit mines. The use of this tool has allowed present blasting practice and proposed designs to be evaluated to predict the likely extent of rock damage behind the final wall. The evaluation of the damage is dependent on the predominant local geology. Modelling of damage using the software allows the potential zones of rock damage to be evaluated under the following criteria: I . the extent of new fractures formed in the intact rock mass; and 2. the distance to which dilation and extension of existing discontinuities and pre-existing fractures will likely occur. The computer model has been used to examine present blasting practice and to estimate the damage induced by final and intermediate rows of blastholes. The results of current practices are presented in a visual form that allows simple comparisons to be made for any proposed changes in design. To confirm the predictions of the modelling, physical measurements are being undertaken at selected mines to quantify damage behind blast patterns, and experimental programs are underway to measure near-field vibration, or shock, levels. The computer modelling software is being used to qualify and improve the design of final rock slopes in large surface mining excavations, and to provide site engineers with well-defined design criteria for consistency in design. The model is seen to be just one of many tools which are being used in large open cut mining operations to gain an improved understanding of blasting and blast control.|