May 2017
Volume 69    Issue 5

Drill & blast implementation case study at multiple Freeport-McMoRan sites

Mining Engineering , 2017, Vol. 69, No. 5, pp. 16-16
Gering, S.; Calderon-Arteaga, C.; Gutierrez, L.; White, T.


Drill and blast represent the most important, and sometimes the costliest processes in the mine. The cost of drilling and blasting operations greatly contributes to the “high cost trends of the overall mining operations” (Afum and Temeng, 2015). The use of available information to improve the drill and blast processes can be the difference between a wasteful process and one that is optimized for costs, safety and desired fragmentation. Mining operations have access to several types of data sets that include a variety of different systems. This information can be used to improve, evaluate and apply processes for drilling and blasting. This may include different types of data from the different stages of the process (before, during and after the drilling and blasting operations), such as hole locations (planned and actual), penetration rates, drill operators, fragmentation (expected and resulting), explosive (design and usage), geology, vibration and others. This information can be used on its own or combined for further analysis to reduce costs, improve safety and evaluate results. Fortunately, due to advances in mining software, drill and blast engineers can exploit this data and create reports to evaluate results and improve the drill and blast process. However, as users start combining information from multiple datasets and establishing standard operating procedures for reporting across multiple sites, it becomes valuable to create auditable, automated and sustainable workflows for handling the information. 

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