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|Effective pre-splitting is a key feature of wall control blasting. Most mining operations use historical designs or rules-of-thumb for designing pre-split blasts. If productivity and safety benefits are to be gained, these methods need to be improved in order to accurately predict pre-split performance. This will become more pertinent as overburden depths increase, placing more demands on the pre-split operation. A classical qualitative quasi-static description of pre-splitting (Kutter and Fairhurst, 1968) is presented and it is shown to give some useful insights into the pre-splitting process. In particular, it is clear that the time interval between the initiation of adjacent pre-split holes is a very important factor. In terms of this analysis, it is shown that current techniques which employ detonating cord as the surface initiation system are not optimal. A static quantitative model for pre-split design which has been widely reported is then discussed and its simplifying assumptions and their implications are examined. It is shown that several of the assumptions may be reasonably justified in the light of real pre-split results. It is concluded that the model should yield conservative designs. For this model, the key calculation of the blasthole pressure that is needed to determine the required explosive charge is highlighted. Popular methods employed in the literature for describing the expansion of real detonation products are shown to be inappropriate and an alternative method using the non-ideal detonation code, CPeX, is proposed.|