Further Improvement to a Safe and Efficient Procedure to Blast, Excavate and Dispose of a Reactive Rock Type

Ash M,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1995
The world-class iron ore mines at Mt Whaleback, Torn Price and Paraburdoo located in the Hamersley Province of Western Australia must mine the Mt McRae Shale to obtain high grade ore from the Dales Gorge Member of the Brockman Iron Formation. The Mt McRae Shale contains a black pyritic shale lithology that reacts with ammonium nitrate-based explosives. This paper provides an overview of the problems associated with mining this reactive rock type as well as the development of a comprehensive procedure to safely and efficiently blast, excavate and dispose of this material. The strategy used to develop the procedure involved raising the awareness of relevant site personnel to the risks associated in mining the Black Pyritic Mt McRae Shale, obtaining the commitment of these personnel that a detailed procedure was required and that any procedure developed must be followed, otherwise the potential risks such as premature detonation were high. It was also necessary that an on-going training program be implemented so that all relevant new employees would be educated as to the reasons for adhering to the Black Pyritic Shale Procedure.
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