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|For many mining operations the challenge of equalling World Best Practices has become the key motivator for increasing mine productivities and for lowering total costs. In most instances this will only be achieved if mines optimise their total system rather than minimising specific costs within unit operations. In the past, drilling and blasting have been viewed as a cost to be minimised rather than operations which should have their impacts fully leveraged. Once a hardrock orebody is defined the activity which has the most substantial impact in determining the efficiency of a mining operation is the blasting. The output from a blast affects every downstream operation; only by understanding the extent and interactions can the mine be optimised. Substantial improvements to hardrock mining, quarrying and excavation operations are achievable. Instead of seeking the regular one to three per cent improvements based on reduction of consumables, mine operators would be well advised to go for much bigger targets of ten to 30 per cent by fully leveraging the drill and blast operations.|