Advances in blasting practices through the accurate quantification of blast fragmentation

Lowery, M. A. ; Girdner, K. ; Kemeny, J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
A strategy for proactive blast planning to improve the postblast fragmentation size has been implemented at the Phelps Dodge Morenci Mine. This strategy was developed in specific phases that include stabilization of blasting practices, systematic changes in blast design and quantification of the size distribution of blasts. Implementing this new strategy would not be possible without an accurate method for quantifying the postblast fragment size distribution. The Split image processing system is now being used to assess fragmentation size using muck pile digital imaging taken on a daily basis and an online fragmentation analysis system installed at the primary crushers. Drilling and blasting variables and fragmentation size are entered into a database, spatially evaluated in a geographic information system and subsequently utilized for mine planning purposes. Using this strategy, significant improvements have been made in postblast fragmentation and continued improvements are expected in the next several years.
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