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137-152_Oageng Perimeter Control at Orapa Diamond Mine

137-152_Oageng Perimeter Control at Orapa Diamond Mine

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Published by: José Gregorio Freites on Jul 29, 2013
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The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Surface Mining 2008 K Oageng, R O Joseph and I Munyadzwe
 ________________________________________________________________________ Page 137
 African Explosives (Botswana) (Pty) Limited, Blasting Engineer, Botswana
Ronald O. Joseph
 African Explosives (Botswana) (Pty) Limited, Regional Manager, Botswana
Ignatius Munyadzwe
 Debswana Orapa Diamond Mine, Drilling and Blasting Technician, Botswana
Effective perimeter control during drilling and blasting is critical not onlyto blasting results but also to the overall stability of the pit over its entire life span. A pitwhere perimeter control is not given enough attention when conducting drilling and blasting operations, often experiences over-break or back break beyond final pit walllimits, and therefore has a relatively high probability of failure. Such a pit also becomesunsafe, sometimes not easily accessible, has increased loading costs due to production of oversize, longer cycle times and often problems are encountered when blastingsubsequent benches. All these are undesirable consequences, which have negative costimplications. Specialised blasting techniques such as trim blasting and pre-splitting haveover the years proved to be effective perimeter control measures. However, the success of these techniques is directly attributable to the time and effort given to the processes. This paper presents results of a project undertaken to monitor, review and optimize the trim blasting and pre-splitting processes at Orapa Diamond Mine in Botswana. The projectwas specifically incepted to improve the final wall conditions, which continued todeteriorate due to persistent over-break during blasting. The paper also analyses theresults obtained against a benchmark of results taken prior to project implementation.Specific blast design parameters which are critical to blasting results were identified as problem areas after auditing of the pre-implementation drilling and blasting practices.These include drill-hole depth, spacing, splitting factor for pre-splits and timing of trim blasts. The impact of different rock types on the results was also studied, andrecommendations were made at different phases of the project and results obtained after implementation analysed until optimum results were achieved.
Key Words:
Pre-split; Trim-blast; High Wall; Stability; Design; Blasting
The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Surface Mining 2008 K Oageng, R O Joseph and I Munyadzwe
 ________________________________________________________________________ Page 138
Even though some specialized blasting techniques were used before at Orapa Mine to protect the pit perimeter, the mine continued to experience persistent over break during blasting which often resulted in poor final wall conditions. On top of that, the pitexperienced a serious high wall failure (collapse) in the eastern quadrant towards the endof 2005 (See figures 1). So, with the overall pit wall situation continuing to deterioratewith every blast, it became imperative to monitor the pre-splitting and trim blasting processes. The pre-implementation drilling and blasting practices were monitored andaudited to identify problem areas, which contributed to poor blasting results. The specificareas include the following:
Drill Site preparation
Drilling accuracy and Charging practices
Explosives and blast timing practices
Rock mass geologyFigure 1: Orapa Mine high wall failure
Orapa Diamond Mine is located in north-central Botswana, some 240 km west of thenorthern city of Francistown. Established in 1971, the mine is the oldest Debswanarunning operation. The geology consists of AK1 Kimberlite which forms a single surfaceof expression of 118 ha. The Kimberlite intruded Achaean granite-gneiss and a variety of rocks from the Karoo Supergroup approximately 93 million years ago. Geologicalinformation has shown that the pipe consists of two individual intrusions (which areclearly different in geology) that coalesce near the surface namely the northern andsouthern lobes. Rocks from all three facies, viz. crater, diatreme and hypabyssal have been identified at Orapa.The Uniaxial Compressive Strengths (UCS) of the common rock types at Orapa pit areshown in tables 1 and 2 below:
High Wall Failure Area
The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Surface Mining 2008 K Oageng, R O Joseph and I Munyadzwe
 ________________________________________________________________________ Page 139Table 1: Internal Rocks
CODECOUNTMINMPaMAXMPaAVRGMPaBAS 110 9 35 137 33SST 120 5 14 34 6LSST 130 5 27 55 9MST 140 3 40 53 6LSST 150 2 51 65 7CMST 160 2 22 24 1GG 170 2 163 180 9
Table 2: Country Rocks
The perimeter control practices at Orapa prior to project implementation were as follows:
3.1.1Design parameters
CODE COUNT MINMPaMAXMPaAVRGMPaA3T 31 15 8 60 33A1MS 32 7 16 31 21A1MN 10 11 10 38 24TKBS 61 8 36 52 44TKBN 66 5 45 50 48BAS 70 1 179 179 179

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