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|This paper documents the relationship between material handling and processing costs compared to blasting cost. The old adage, 'The cheapest crushing is done in the pit', appears accurate in this case study. Comparison of the accumulated cost of powder, selected wear materials and electricity, indicate a strong, inverse correlation with powder factor (lbs powder/long ton of rock). In this case, the increased powder cost is more than offset by electrical savings alone. Measurable, overall costs decline while shovel and crusher productivity rise by about five per cent when powder factor rises by 15 per cent. These trends were previously masked by the effects of weather, ore grade fluctuations and accounting practices.|