Coeur Kensington Underground Gold Operation
Reviewing instrument drill-and-blast operations and producing site-specific drill-and-blast training materials.
Coeur’s Kensington underground facility is a longitudinal and transverse uphole and downhole stoping operation outside of Juneau, Alaska. The operation was experiencing drill-and-blast issues, such as poor drilling accuracy and hang-ups during blasting. Other problems included explosives product issues, inventory issues, and excessive nitrates that appeared in their groundwater. Kensington tasked RESPEC with evaluating their blasting operations and providing training for their drillers and blasters.
RESPEC worked with Dr. Braden Lusk of Lusk Consultants to audit Kensington’s heading and stoping blasting operations. While on site, RESPEC collected data on drilling, explosives performance, explosives loading techniques, and blast results. The equipment used to collect data included borehole cameras, borehole survey equipment, a seismograph, the velocity of detonation, photograph fragmentation, and visual inspection. The data collected from the audit were analyzed and used to produce site-specific, drilling-and-blasting training. The audit successfully highlighted the root causes of some of the issues that the site had.
RESPEC and Dr. Lusk collaborated on a training program and training materials, which were presented to the drillers and blasters on the site. The team is currently working with Kensington to develop an auditing program and acquire additional instrumentation, for which RESPEC will provide training.