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Blast damage control measures

In mining, damage to a rock mass is unavoidable. The objective is to minimise its extent, severity and its impact

The Paradox:
We want to totally destroy the competence of one area without damaging the neighbouring area !

Methods to control underground blast damage


Compliance with smooth wall blasting techniques Develop design parameters to suit prevailing conditions Accurate drilling of holes Implementation of Quality Control and Quality Assurance practices

Development blasting - terminology


Drive outline (toe) Drilling offset

Perimeter/Contour holes

Perimeter easer holes

Easer holes
(stoping holes) Drive height

Cut holes
Grade line (Relief and charged holes)

Knee Holes Lifter holes

Centre line

Smooth wall blasting


A method where the row of holes adjacent to the planned contour is fired at the end of the round, with a light charge, with a small spacing in comparison to the burden

Care must also be taken to the potential damage caused by adjacent rows to the contour (inner easer holes)

Smooth wall blasting - general rules

Explosive energy per meter of blasthole reduced Blasthole spacing is approximately 75% of the spacing for stripping holes within the round Blasthole burden is approximately 1.1 to 1.4 times the spacing around the perimeter (pre-splitting effect) Smooth blasting charges should ideally be initiated simultaneously, to create a clean break between blastholes

Design guidelines for perimeter blasting


Persson et al 1994

In smooth blasting S/B ratios of 0.8 are generally used

Blasthole deviation
Variability in the toe position for a round with a total drill deviation of 4 degrees Variability in the toe position for a round with a total drill deviation of 2 degrees

Dyno Nobel (2005)

Inaccurate drilling
Cumulative drilling errors

Rock excavation handbook - Tamrock

Sandvik drilling control system


KEY FEATURES
Rock detect
Drifter moved forward with controlled speed and low power until solid rock contact Accurate alignment of holes and less stress on drill steel

Collaring automatics
After rock detect, collaring proceeds with collaring pressures to set collaring depth Then power ramped to normal drilling pressures

Adjustable feed controlled percussion


Optimized feed force to meet all percussion levels

Sensitive anti-jamming automatics


Safe and fast drilling even in poorest rock conditions

Atlas copco ABC system

Decoupled charging of perimeter holes

Decoupled charging of perimeter holes

QA/QC
A formal set of procedures that allows the systematic collection of data that supports the implementation of recommended designs for different environments The main components are
Site inspections and data logging Data storage and management Data analysis and reporting (feedback to miners)

As drilled round collar positions

Photo courtesy of De Beers mines

As drilled round hole geometry

Wetherelt and Williams, 2006 Fragblast 8

Initiation & Sequencing


Experimental Work by Ichijo et al ,1994
Electronic Detonators Vs Pyrotechnic
Cross-Sectional Area Drill hole spacing Length of line of least resistance Drill hole diameter Number of holes per round Explosive type VOD Charge length 8m2 450mm 450mm 42mm 59 Dinamaito 6000-7000 m/s 2 - 2.5m

Rock conditions
SG UCS (MPa) Tensile Strength (MPa) 12 E (GPa) Poisson's ratio 0.24 Vp (m/s)

2.66

300

73

5800100

Initiation & Sequencing


Electronic Detonators Vs Pyrotechnic

Open pit control measures


Several different techniques are used to reduce blast induced slope damage. They include:
trim blasting; buffer blasting; pre or mid split blasting; post split blasting; and line drilling.

(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Trim blasting
In trim blast designs, production blast designs are modified to reduce wall damage. The common modifications are:
a free face is created for horizontal relief; the pattern width is reduced to three to six rows deep; the delay sequence is modified to control vibration levels and displacement; and sub-drilling is reduced or eliminated above the catch berm. The last row of holes is placed in front of the designed batter face. This is known as the standoff distance.
(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Trim blast design features


Bickers et al , 2001

Buffer blasting
In buffer blasting the relationship between explosive energy distribution, confinement and level can be enhanced with the use of airdecks, pattern modifications and/or reduced hole diameters Buffer blasts are typically three to five rows wide and shot to free face that has a consistent burden. In some adverse geology, additional rows may have to be added to the blast to protect the slope from damage caused by the production blast Batter face angles between 60 and 75 degrees are fairly typical for cushion blast designs

(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Buffer and production blast


1,5 m

4m

6m

5m

165 mm

7m

(Enaex, 2001)

Buffer and production blast


1.5 m 5m

Stemming - 4 m

10 m

Air bag at 4 m

Air deck 3-5m

Anfo- 68 Kg 4m

B940 - 51 Kg 2m

J = 1.5 m

Blendex 950 - 98 Kg 3.5 m

Buffer

6m

(Enaex, 2001)

Buffer blast design guidelines

Blasthole Diameter (mm) 76 89 102 114 127 153 165 200 229 270 311

Charge (kg/m) 0.6 0.75 0.9 1.2 1.4 2 2.3 3.4 4.6 6 7.8

Burden (m) 1.7 1.9 2 2.4 2.6 3.1 3.3 4.1 5 5.5 6.1

Spacing (m) * 1.4 1.5 1.7 1.9 2 2.4 2.6 3.1 3.5 4.1 4.8

Offest From Toe (m) 0.30 0.36 0.41 0.46 0.51 0.61 0.66 0.80 0.92 1.08 1.24

* spacing may need to be half the inner buffer row spacing to aid with pattern tie-in.

(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Pre or mid split blasting


Pre or mid split blasting involves drilling a row of closely spaced holes along the designed dig limit. These holes are loaded with decoupled charges to split the gap between holes in tension without causing compressional damage to the slope Pre-split differs from mid-split blasting only in the way the holes are initiated. Ideally, the pre-split will be fired before the holes in the adjacent blast are drilled. If the time between the detonation of the pre-split and adjacent holes is too great, the performance of the explosive in the adjacent holes can be adversely affected. As a result, a mid split (shot in the middle of the timing sequence) is timed to be fired a short time (around 100 ms) before the detonation of the adjacent holes.
(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Mid split sequencing


point of initiation

(Floyd, 2006)

Combined pre-split, buffer and production blast patterns

2-3m 4m

115 165 mm

3m
6m

5m

165 mm

7m

(Enaex, 2001)

Combined pre-split, buffer and production blast patterns


3m 5m

2 m from collar

Stemming - 4 m

10 m

Anfo - 100 Kg 6m

Anfo- 68 Kg 4m

J = 1.5 m

Blendex 950 - 98 Kg 3.5 m

Buffer

6m

(Enaex, 2001)

Favourable pre-split conditions


massive rock; tight joints; dominant joint orientation more than 30 off strike of designed face; and absence of weak structures that form wedges of daylight on the batter face and catch berm.
(Floyd, 2006)

Preliminary pre-split guidelines

Blasthole Diameter (mm) 76 89 102 114 127 153 165 200 229 270 311

Charge (kg/m) 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.9 2.2

Spacing (m) 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.1 2.3 2.8 3.2 3.8 4.4

Minimum Decoupled Charge Diameter (mm) 22 22 25 32 32 38 44 51 64 68 78

Maximum Decoupled Charge Diameter (mm) 25 29 32 38 44 51 51 64 76 89 103

(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Pre-split loading options


Presplit Loading Options

no stem

charge charge charge continuous charge

no stem

charge plug air deck charge multiple charges bulk explosive

charge charge multiple charges decoupled cartridge explosive

single charge bulk explosive

continuous decoupled cartridge explosive

increasing performance in unfavorable geology

(Floyd, 2006)

Pre-split fracture

Other options - post-split blasting


Post-split blasting utilises a closely spaced, lightly charged row of blastholes that is placed along the designed batter face. As opposed to pre-splitting, the row of holes is shot after the adjacent blast. In highly fractured rock, post-split holes have more relief and typically cause less damage to the slope
Blasthole Diameter (mm) 76 89 102 114 127 153 165 200 229 270 311 Charge (kg/m) 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.6 2.0 2.3 2.7 3.1 Spacing (m) 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.4 2.5 3.1 3.5 4.2 4.8
(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Other options - line drilling


Line drilling consists of a line of unloaded holes drilled along the final limit. In weak material, the hole spacing is typically around 12 hole diameters. Hard massive rock requires the spacing to be reduced to three to six hole diameters. Initially, the buffer row should be placed 50% to 75% of the normal burden away from the line drill row. If the ground is saturated the burden will need to be increased to prevent overbreak. Line drilling is usually most cost effective in weakly cemented alluvium

(Chitombo, Onederra and Scott, 2006)

Line drilling weak alluvium

(Floyd, 2006)

Crest damage
(Bye, 2006)

Sub-drill / blast damage

Structurally controlled

Drill offsets to protect crest


Horizontal Offset From Crest (m)
-3

-2

-1

blasthole locations
1

desired crest
standoff zone

(Floyd, 2006)

Wall control management


(Bye, 2006)

WALL CONTROL TEAM


PLANNING
Trims Presplits Schedules
GEOTECH ASSISTENT GEOTECH ASSISTENT GEOTECH

SENIOR GEOTECH

SURVEY
Monitoring Staking Limits

BLASTING TECHNICIAN
WALL CONTROL SUPERVISOR

ASSISTENT BLASTERS
X2

DRILLING FOREMAN OR DRILLING CONTRACTOR

SCALING OPERATORS

4 SHIFT

DRILL OPERATOR

DRILL OPERATOR

DRILL OPERATOR

DRILL OPERATOR

DRILL ASSIT.

DRILL ASSIT.

DRILL ASSIT.

DRILL ASSIT.

DRILL ASSIT.

DRILL ASSIT.

DRILL ASSIT.

DRILL ASSIT.

Limit Blast Assessment


(Bye, 2006)

Hazard Plans
(Bye, 2006)

Final wall scaling


(Bye, 2006)

(Bye, 2006)

Limit blast design process and responsibilities (Mt Whaleback)


Bickers et al , 2001

Practical damage assessment (Mt Whaleback)


Bickers et al , 2001

Open discussion
Underground
EDD versus Pyrotechnics Blast damage from conventional undercutting Blast damage from drawbell blasting Single firing versus phased blasting of drawbells

Open pit
Damage from EDD production blasting Trim versus buffer blasts Pre-splits
Gas or shock effects Angled versus vertical Single bench versus double bench versus triple bench Firing sequence (blasting with trim) Influence of joint orientation

Use of large diameter holes for contour blasting (> 165 mm)