Inﬂuence of explosive energy on the strength of the rockfragments and SAG mill throughput
S. Michaux, N. Djordjevic
Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, The University Of Queensland, Isles Road, Indooroopilly, Brisbane, Australia
Received 21 June 2004; accepted 30 July 2004
Extensive in-situ testings has shown that blast fragmentation inﬂuences the performance of downstream processes in a mine, andas a consequence, the proﬁt of the whole operation can be greatly improved through optimised fragmentation. Other unit operationslike excavation, crushing and grinding can all be assisted by altering the blast-induced fragmentation.Experimental studies have indicated that a change in blasting practice would not only inﬂuence fragmentation but fragmentstrength as well. The strength of the fragments produced in a blast is clearly important to the performance of the crushing and grind-ing circuit as it aﬀects the energy required to break the feed to a target product size.In order to validate the eﬀect of blasting on fragment strength several lumps of granite were blasted, under controlled conditions,using three very diﬀerent explosive products. The resulting fragments were subjected to standard comminution ore characterisationtests. Obtained comminution parameters were then used to simulate the performance of a SAG mill. Modelling results indicate thatchanges in post blast residual rock fragment strength signiﬁcantly inﬂuences the performance of the SAG mill, producing up to a20% increase in throughput.
2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Communition SAG milling; Simulation; Mining
To produce a saleable product from a mine, an engi-neering operation has to perform a series of tasks: blast-ing, crushing, grinding and ﬂotation. The purpose of blast fragmentation is to deliver the feed, to the concen-trator, in a form that the crushing/grinding circuit canprocess eﬀectively. The ﬁner the muck pile fragmenta-tion, the smaller the gap setting needed on the primarycrusher and the higher the SAG mill throughput. Whilethe mining process starts with blasting, the expectationis that the ROM size distribution will aﬀect the ﬁnalproduct quality and quantity. Thus if the blastingprocess can be controlled and the optimum ROM sizedistribution can be generated, it is possible to optimisethe overall mine/plant economics (Kojovic et al., 1998;Kanchibotla et al., 1998; Kojovic et al., 1995).The principles of comminution rock breakage aresimilar in many respects to the blast fragmentation rockbreakage principles (Kim and McCarter, 1998). Commi-nution engineering is the reduction of a coarse size dis-tribution of rock particles to a ﬁner size distribution,by applying energy to those fragments with a mechani-cal device (e.g. a crusher or a SAG mill). Blast fragmen-tation is the crushing of a volume of in-situ rock (thebench) to a group of fragments (the muckpile), by apply-ing energy to that volume of rock with explosives (Per-Anders Persson, 1997). The parameters used to describethe breakage of rock in both engineering areas havemuch in common.
0892-6875/$ - see front matter
2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.mineng.2004.07.003
Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 7 3365 5888; fax: +61 7 33655999.
firstname.lastname@example.org(N. Djordjevic).This article is also available online at:www.elsevier.com/locate/minengMinerals Engineering 18 (2005) 439–448