Review and instrument drill and blast operations and produce site specific drill-and-blast training materials.
Time Span: 2016 - 2017
Kinross’s Paboase Underground is a shrinkage-stoping with a modified backfill operation that uses downhole stopes and uphole production rings to drill and blast gold ore. The operation was experiencing poor ore control and recovery, drillhole blockages, and explosives product issues as well as other quality control issues.
RESPEC and Dr. Braden Lusk of Lusk Consultants worked directly with the mine’s technical services team to evaluate and recommend improvements for the current drill-and-blast operations. Lusk Consultants used the following instruments to collect data:
- Borehole Cameras showed that drill patterns were affected by previous blasting rather than geological conditions, which were originally identified as the cause by the operation.
- Borehole Survey Equipment demonstrated that the drillholes were not being drilled as designed, and errors in collar location, drill alignment, and deviation occurred.
- A Seismograph helped identify that charges and holes were not firing as designed because the explosives were decoupling. The explosives product choice was not applicable to uphole loading.
- The Velocity of Detonation revealed that the explosives were decoupling because the detonated lengths were not equal to the charge-length design.
- Photograph Fragmentation studies showed the current fragmentation distribution at the site.
- Our Visual Inspection showed that the drills were not maintained to the manufacturers’ standards and were missing key components to ensure accurate drilling. The explosives product quality and loading standards were not up to manufacturer’s specifications either.
RESPEC worked with Dr. Lusk to complete a root-cause analysis for the issues that the drill-and-blast operation was experiencing. RESPEC’s findings on the project were developed into a comprehensive training program and a continuous drill-and-blast improvement program.
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