1ABSTRACTThe ability to accurately model the movement of gradeboundaries during a typical bench blast would be of significant benefit to mine operators. The movement of grade boundaries during the blasting process may havesignificant impact on grade recovery if not accounted for.The paper describes the preliminary stages of a researchproject which combines numerical blast models andconventional mine planning software to allow practicaluse of the results of a numerical blast simulation. A twodimensional bench blast is simulated using the UniversalDistinct Element Code (UDEC). The results of thesimulation are used to provide input to the Surpac mineplanning package which can be used to generate gradecontrol plans.INTRODUCTIONComputer simulation of open pit bench blastingcontinues to present a significant challenge to the miningindustry. Several models have been developed whichallow some visualization of burden movement as a resultof a typical open pit bench blast, (Chung et al. 1994;Minchinton and Lynch 1996; Scott et al. 1996; Jorgensonand Chung 1987). In general these codes are not widelyavailable and in some cases their distribution is limitedfor competitive reasons. Since 1993 the MiningEngineering Department at the Mackay School of Mineshas been investigating the use of “off the shelf” numericalmodeling software for use in bench blast modeling.Previous work (Gilbride 1995) demonstrates that it ispossible to model bench blast movement to some degreeusing codes such as Itasca’s Universal Distinct ElementCode, UDEC. The blast model used in this paper islargely based on work by Gilbride. In associated work,the possibility of measuring and predicting grademovement in a bench blast has been investigated byseveral workers, (Zhang 1994; Harris 1997).Grade Control
For many mining and explosives companies, theultimate goal of blast modeling research is the ability todesign a new blast and view the results in terms of burdenmovement and fragmentation without the need for fieldtrials. In addition to fragmentation and heave, the abilityto model blast movement will allow the engineer topredict the movement of grade boundaries and othergeologic features such as rock structure. For the majorityof open pit gold mines in the Western United States, thereis no geologic distinction between ore and waste rock.Blast hole sampling is used to determine grade boundariesprior to a given pattern being fired. As a result, gradecontrol practice includes attempts to minimize rock movement during the blast, allowing pre blast gradeboundaries to be used as dig limits on the resultingmuckpile. This paper describes a preliminary attempt touse a mine planning software suite, Surpac, in transferringblast model data into usable mine planning information.UDEC MODELA blast model (Figure 1.) has been constructed usingUDEC. The model represents a single hole bench blast intwo dimensions and is based on blast designs typical tothe Nevada gold mining industry. Table 1 belowdescribes relevant blast geometry as applied in the model.
Bench Height7 mBurden3 mBlast Hole Diameter170 mmStemming Length2 mSub Drill1 mTable 1. Blast geometry and rock properties.Two joint sets are included in the model, the firstdipping at 15
into the bench and the second dipping at45
towards the free face. The joints are considered to becohesion less with a friction angle of 20
, the blocks arenon deformable and the joint stiffness values are specifiedat 1000 GPa, in order to prevent block penetrations whichcause the model to crash.The UDEC model is capable of modeling both theshock wave and gas pressure effects of the blast on therock mass. Incorporating gas pressurization and hence a
Bench Blast Modeling Using Numerical Simulation and Mine PlanningSoftware
I.R. FirthD.L. Taylor
Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno. U.S.A.