You are on page 1of 10

Implementation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends

in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application

Winston Wilches B., Drummond Ltd Colombia.
&
D. Scott Scovira, Orica Mining Services.
Abstract
This paper discusses recent changes to the emulsion blend blasting agent used at the Drummond
Pribbenow Mine in Colombia, one of the world’s largest open pit coal mines, and the resulting
improvements in rock breakage and excavator productivity. Based on field evaluations, the use of High
Density Ammonium Nitrate (HDAN) can be effectively implemented in an emulsion blend blasting
agent, yielding excellent results in terms of energy release, shelf life and velocity of detonation (VOD).
Field evaluations showed that formulations using HDAN exceed the performance of the actual
50%/50% emulsion/ANFO blend using Porous Prill Ammonium Nitrate (PPAN). PPAN is
conventionally used for emulsion blend manufacturing, with physical characteristics to facilitate
sensitivity during the detonation process.
This paper details laboratory and field tests of the HDAN emulsion blend under critical conditions. It
provides the reader with strong evidence of the reliability and effectiveness of HDAN prill used in
emulsion and AN prill blends for different mixtures. Detailed in this document are the specific
conditions that the explosives blend must meet to ensure a proper detonation and energy liberation.
This document also covers a careful review and comparison of these two types of Ammonium Nitrate
and the use of a deterministic measure to calculate the explosives properties of the new blend.
Introduction
The mixture of emulsion and ANFO has been identified throughout the blasting operations as a robust
and safe blasting agent, capable of delivering a suitable energy release, with a high reliability,
withstanding harsh environments found in the field, and a low likelihood of an accidental initiation.
In an effort to reduce material consumption, improve blasting agent usage, and lower final product costs
at the Drummond Coal Pribbenow Mine, an open pit coal operation located in Colombia (South
America), the company has been looking for new mining explosives formulations to accomplish these
goals.
When emulsions were commercially introduced four decades ago, the complexity of the process and the
construction of sophisticated plants caused the final product cost to be higher than ANFO. However, in
the past few years, plant technologies and the requirement of large volumes of explosives have
positioned operational and maintenance costs as a secondary expenditure, being replaced by the
Ammonium Nitrate as the ultimate driver in the final cost.
At the same time, Ammonium Nitrate Porous Prill (PPAN), the traditional ingredient to produce ANFO,
has considerably increased in cost in the last few years due to the special manufacturing technology,

Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers
2014G - Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application

1 of 10

PPAN and HDAN for different mining applications were applied. Various combinations of emulsion. medium and hard rock. An increase of 23% in density resulted in a larger amount of explosive per borehole. in this study. Benefits HDAN prill has traditionally been utilized to be dissolved in water to manufacture emulsion explosives. with a view of providing sufficient technical information to explosives engineers to make a decision. Additionally. In this document. The main objective of the investigation was to validate the use of HDAN prills in blends. Several changes in a limestone quarry were implemented in order to optimize drilling and blasting costs.Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 2 of 10 . 2. By these proposed changes. replacing PPAN as the traditional source of Ammonium Nitrate for ANFO blends in bulk and large diameters. In another research paper published by John C. However. it becomes a competitive blasting agent ingredient. the pros and cons of such a modification were analyzed. showing successful results in soft. it was the intention in this study to test the following changes to the current blasting formulation: 1. use of HDAN reduces the final emulsion/ANFO blend cost. if the experimental and field test regimes were to be successfully concluded. One of these changes was the utilization of an emulsion and mini-prills blend. with advantageous characteristics. A higher density in an explosive blend was highly advantageous for this case study. to increase pattern and optimize initiation costs. due to the porosity and particle size. and therefore. minimizing ANFO proportion. Previous Research Studies It has been documented that the use of High Density Ammonium Nitrate was studied in 1995. Udy. such as: Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . can slow down the detonation velocity of the emulsion explosives to match the rock sonic velocity. the author proposes HDAN as the new ingredient in the explosives blend. A similar case study using mini-prills was presented in 2004 by Paul L. The study proposed the use of a HDAN mini-prill and fuel oil. Martin. since the work is still available in the form of shock and bubble energy. a more energetic product would be obtained. Additionally. a new type of mini-prill (High Density Ammonium Nitrate) was introduced in an effort to control the drilling cost per foot and to optimize the blasting pattern. This reduction in VOD does not mean a loss in energy from the explosive.05 g/cc. resulting in the use of a lower quantity of explosives and fewer blastholes to obtain the rock fragmentation required by the blast designer. Include HDAN prill in the ANFO component. The utilization of a different explosives blend. and improving the energy output. as an alternative for PPAN. when this prill is mixed with sensitized emulsion at specific ratios. Adams in 1997. by Lex L. create more heave and muckpile swell or cast. with a bulk density of 1.inclusion of special additives and a shortage of plants offering this raw material in the short to medium term. resulting in a significant increase in energy per borehole. The author also stated that HDAN. Given the circumstances.

Oxygen Balance and Selection of Formulations Oxygen balance always needs to be taken into consideration in selecting the appropriate blasting agent formulation. The oxygen balance values for each ingredient were obtained directly from the manufacturers in order to achieve an accurate outcome. The initial proportions of the products may be changed due to. The mining company. Additives found in some HDAN prill are less harmful than those encountered in PPAN. in an effort to control greenhouse emissions associated with the blasting operations. which Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . and was used to establish the minimum requirements to be achieved by the new formulation.97 -3. 2. using HDAN. 3.07 -3. which are negative contributors to the environment. An excess of oxygen in the explosive (over-oxidized) forms Nitrogen Oxides (NOx). This option is the current formulation utilized to manufacture sensitized emulsion at the Pribbenow Mine. the oxygen balance is close to zero. HDAN density is higher. Additionally. This formulation is the baseline. HDAN price per ton is lower than PPAN. deficit of oxygen (under-oxidized) causes carbon monoxide (CO).straight emulsion .Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 3 of 10 . and demonstrate the effect of the quantity of each ingredient in the detonation process. It comprises 70% straight emulsion and 30% ANFO using 98% Ammonium Nitrate High Density and 2% Fuel. which means reduction of drillholes if maintaining the same powder factor. however. In order to evaluate the effect of oxygen balance in the final blasting agent. fuel evaporation. Option #4 is similar to Option # 3. On the other hand. for instance. and the possibility exists that this phenomenon might generate a localized oxygen positive zone. imbalance in the formulation will reduce explosive efficiency. an excess of fuel or oxidizer results in fractions of the composition not participating fully in the detonation process. must minimize the production of NOx and CO. four different formulations were selected. being the base of the explosive blend. These are indicators of the new explosive performance.28 For non-ideal detonations.1. giving more blend stability. a higher fuel content in the emulsion. Option #2 is the current explosive blend that has been used for more than 10 years. creating greenhouse gases and toxic emissions. resulting in product cost savings. utilizing.67 -0. Table 1 below shows the results for the different options: Table 1 Oxygen Balance Calculation for Emulsion / ANFO Blends Options Option #1 Option #2 Option #3 Blend Emulsion (100%) Emulsion (50%) + ANFO PPAN Emulsion (70%) + ANFO HDAN Option #4 Emulsion (+1% Diesel in Fuel Phase)(70%) + ANFO HDAN Oxygen Balance (g/g) -7. For Option #3. Option #3 is the proposed new formulation. significant variations in component physical parameters may generate a different fuel/oxidizer interaction in the reaction zone. with the same blend proportion. Option #1 . using 50% sensitized emulsion and 50% ANFO with PPAN.is a highly efficient explosive.

that means.22 Figure 1.29 g/cc at 60% emulsion / 40% ANFO. The graph below illustrates the density of different blends. the emulsion added is no longer filling the limited spaces in the prill. carbon monoxide evolution will be higher. as well as occupation of prill porosity. ANFO was prepared using 98% HDAN and 2% fuel oil.90 0. which is the mixture where the emulsion occupies the interstitial air spaces between the packed PPAN prills.98 1.34 1. starting at 100% ANFO and ending at 100% emulsion.22 Emulsion / ANFO (ppAN) 0. 1. due to the lack of porosity in its internal structure.10 1. Peak density is obtained using only 40% emulsion and 60% ANFO. which is effective in the control of the appropriate blend designed by the blaster.29 1. a denser material needs less volume to get the desired weight designed by the blaster. is rapidly covered and filled with emulsion in the limited air voids located close to the surface.85 1. second. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . The HDAN prill. the density measurement may be correlated to the emulsion : ANFO blend ratio. lowering the density of the blend.would be manifested in the production of visible NOx fume.00 0.31-1.4 1. Explosives with negative oxygen balance will tend to result in an increased concentration of carbon monoxide in the post blast fume. less drill footage is required to employ the same quantity of explosive blend.25 1. For Option #1. ANFO was prepared using 94% PPAN and 6% fuel oil.28 1. As the ANFO content decreases.07) does not represent a major inconvenience with respect to the efficiency of energy release.80 0/100 (EM/ANFO) 40/60 (EM/ANFO) 50/50 (EM/ANFO) 60/40 (EM/ANFO) 70/30 (EM/ANFO) 80/20 (EM/ANFO) 100/0 (EM/ANFO) Emulsion /ANFO (ANHD) 0. For the proposed blend. For the first sample.Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 4 of 10 .30 1. Tests were carried out to validate this possible issue.38 1. The highest density value obtained was 1. it having the most negative oxygen balance value.26 1. Emulsion/ANFO Blends Bulk Density using PPAN and HDAN For the second experiment. this value assists the explosives engineer know the exact amount of blasting agent loaded into the blast.27 1. but this value (-7.50 1. which is 3% greater than the actual 50/50 blend using PPAN.31 1.20 1. Density of Blends Density measurement of a given explosive is critical due to several factors: first. a density of 1.32 g/cc is observed. This increment is advantageous from the operational point of view.28 1.40 Bulk Density (g/cc) 1.

and. For the samples measured in the laboratory. VOD vs.900 m/s 3.800 m/s 0 días 10 días 20 días 30 días 40 días 50 días 60 días Age (Days) Figure 2. considering that only 2% fuel oil will be added to the AN prill. a poor detonation in an explosives blend due to crystallization.300 m/s 4. The purpose of this test was to verify the interaction of HDAN with emulsion over time and monitor the performance through the measurement of the velocity of detonation (VOD). when steel is utilized. the change in value of which over time is a characteristic indirectly measuring the stability of the blend.700 m/s 4. a prill not retaining the fuel required might have undesirable consequences such as a poor detonation or post-blast NOx fumes. 4. Besides PVC material.500 m/s VOD 4.400 m/s 4. harmful additives in Ammonium Nitrate or using an ineffective emulsifier. for instance.Absorption Tests The absorption test is undertaken under critical conditions to confirm the capability of the prill to retain the fuel added in any circumstance. Additionally. Age in 6” Unconfined Charge (70/30 Emulsion / ANFO HDAN) Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . an average absorption value of 2. according to our standard. pertinent to this situation. steel exceeds the common hardness of the rock in the coal mine (soft-medium).000 m/s 3. such as recurrent temperature cycling and shear effects caused by pumping. an unconfined charge. Shelf Life This key indicator for explosive blends is affected negatively by the severe conditions encountered in mining applications. the samples were kept for 24 hours to monitor the retention and ensure that no separation between fuel and Ammonium Nitrate was detected. the solid walls provide a very good confinement for the explosive.600 m/s 4. In the worst case scenario. It is essential to assure that the explosive blend contains the right oxygen/fuel balance and that this proportion will not change significantly over time.100 m/s Linear (VOD (m/s)) 4. Another factor causing instability is the quality of raw materials. steel might be used. The VOD test is performed periodically in order to estimate a limiting velocity value close to 2000 m/s [6561 ft/s].85% was obtained. This retention experiment over time is important to simulate a possible separation during the transportation of ANFO. to model a critical scenario with significant side losses. which is. which is acceptable for the proposed formulation.200 m/s VOD (m/s) 4. Each test is carried out in a 6” [15 cm] PVC pipe.Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 5 of 10 . however.

however.95%. % Microspheres in Emulsion By analyzing the tests of the two blends. for the HDAN/emulsion blend type. Velocity of Detonation vs.5% to 0. utilizing different microspheres percentages. For Option 3.200 Emulsion (70%) + ANFO HDAN 2.8% 1. From 0. Option 3 develops a higher detonation rate. sensitivity drops drastically.200 4. shelf life is longer due to a higher content of emulsion. The VOD tests were conducted in 6” [15 cm] PVC pipes. it is evident that there is a loss of velocity of detonation as the microsphere percentage decreases. For this HDAN blend.700 1.Six readings were obtained to build a graph and estimate shelf life.200 3.700 3. The point at which a sharp drop in detonation velocity occurs was taken to represent the critical microballoon concentration (and density) for fully efficient reaction to take place in the explosive. sensitivity responds in a linear fashion from 0.0% 0. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G .Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 6 of 10 .2% up to 0.4% 0. a detriment in the detonation rate might happen mainly due to a lack of sensitivity caused by insufficient air voids to create “hot spots” in the reaction zone. no pores are present in the internal prill. fewer harmful additives incorporated in the HDAN prill. using a ¾lb [340 g] PETN booster as initiator. and higher porosity and surface area in the PPAN tending to reduce the stability of the emulsion. To confirm a change in sensitivity. producing a dependence on “hot spots” exclusively from the microspheres.200 Emulsion (50%) + ANFO PPAN 1. In Option 2. The fewer voids in the reaction zone provide for a lower velocity of detonation.2% 0. but this factor is easily controlled to ensure that void fraction does not reduce below the predetermined critical value.200 0.95%. the explosives mixture is projected to crystallize after 220 days. which is much more than expected for the mine requirement of up to 6 weeks. in this test the actual 50/50 blend was compared with the proposed 70/30 blend.0% % Microspheres in Emulsion Figure 3. Sensitivity Tests With the purpose of ensuring full detonation in the column charge. using HDAN.6% 0. So. As a result. below this percentage.700 4. and the VOD registered for each value. microsphere content is critical. A good performance with low microsphere percentage is caused by the internal pores encountered in PPAN. In comparison with the 50/50 Emulsion/ANFO blend.700 2. it is important to identify the critical scenario where a poor detonation might occur. Microballoon concentration was varied to yield variable density compositions. causing extra hot spots in the event that microspheres are not available. Velocity of Detonation (m/s) 5.

an area in the pit was chosen to carry out two full scale tests. the larger the fragments. Although Blast #2 had an expanded drilling pattern. that is. Productivity and Fragmentation Study Summary Blasting Agent Drill Pattern Digging Rate Avg.6m x 8. and the second expanded blast pattern implementing the new blend (70% emulsion/30% ANFO HDAN). one with the conventional blasting pattern and explosives (50% emulsion/50% ANFO PPAN) used as a baseline. Full Scale Trial: To demonstrate the feasibility of the new blend. A further experiment was carried out in a blast. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . In addition. to record with a high speed video camera the swelling effects of the explosive on the rock strata and observe possible post blast fumes. Below is the information of the two blasts: Blast # 1 was loaded with 50% emulsion/50% ANFO PPAN whereas Blast #2 used 70% emulsion/30% ANFO HDAN for all blastholes. Fill Bucket Time Fragment Size (>80%) Blast # 1 Em 50% / ANFO PPAN 50% 7. Simultaneously. the fill bucket time was 3 seconds faster in the second shot. a shovel productivity study was also carried out as the machine was digging out the blasted rock. After the blasts were conducted.Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 7 of 10 . field evaluation was the next step in confirming the explosives properties of the blend. For this purpose.8 ft]. making possible a production and fragmentation comparison study.5 m of stable detonation velocity. Both shots had the same rock interburden. Additionally. Additionally.8m (25ft x 29ft) 3328 bcm/hr (4326 bcyd/hr) 38 secs 17cm (6-5/8”) or less The work conducted in these two blasts indicated an increase of 5% in productivity using the new blend. Both areas had the same rock mechanics properties and bench height. a full test blast was performed and compared with the actual blasting agent. a rock fragmentation study was undertaken using PowerSieve© software. the high speed video revealed a good throw of the rock generated by the detonation of the explosive in each blasthole and no evidence of post blast fumes. exceeding the usual 50/50 VOD (5300-5500 m/s [17390-18045 ft/sec] in a 229 mm [9-inch] diameter blasthole). the ratio between explosives quantity and rock volume remained similar due to differences in the explosives density. a VOD machine was used to record one explosive column. An analytical tool was used to identify the time required by the shovel to fill its bucket with rock. the more time is required to fill the shovel bucket. being a sign of less coarse fragments at the time of excavation. with an average depth of 16. to estimate the particle size distribution. The VOD measured in this shot recorded 12.5m (24ft x 28ft) 3163 bcm/hr (4112 bcyd/hr) 41 secs 17cm (6-5/8”) or less Blast # 2 Em 70% / ANFO HDAN 30% 7.Field Tests After obtaining successful results in the laboratory and with the VOD tests in pipe charges. loading 14 holes with the new product along the free face. at an average VOD of 5517 m/s [18100 ft/s].3m x 8. The following table summarizes the information and results obtained: Table 1. which is the time directly related to the fragmentation size.1 m [52.

is measured. the bubble period (the elapsed time between peaks in the gas bubble oscillation as it is expressed). showing consistency in results. 2012). indicating low sensitivity in the detonation process for this product given the test diameter and lack of confinement. which is associated with the explosive’s ability to move the media around the borehole after the shock wave fractures it (Eck. Data generated on the 50/50 mixture using PPAN was not as good as expected. The total explosive released energy is the sum of these two parameters.Underwater Testing When calculating the blasting strength of a non-ideal explosive. No significant differences on post blast fumes was observed. 3. The detonation properties recorded with different HDAN manufacturers are very similar. The experiment divides the released energy into two different factors. For the HDAN tests. for this particular explosive. One method to indicate relative explosives performance is through underwater testing. however. To develop this experimental program. In addition. The first factor is the shock energy.Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 8 of 10 . Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . standard explosives such as straight ANFO and emulsion were included to provide a more comprehensive investigation. After detonation of all samples. 2012). UTEC Laboratories. AN from two manufacturers was tested to prove consistency in results for this type of hard prill. The second is the bubble or gas energy. For each detonation performed underwater. a research corporation in Kansas. it can be difficult to establish a reliable prediction of the explosive performance. This test has been widely used for commercial explosives manufacturers to find the exact energy release. The energy data did not show differences in detonation properties using a different content of diesel in the emulsion fuel phase. This test allows for the physical measurement of the energy that is released by the explosive charge as it detonates underwater (Eck. USA. a blast transducer and an oscilloscope were connected to a computer. The test data generated showed that the HDAN prills in the 85/15 and 70/30 blends have similar VOD and energy per unit weight as those obtained from the blends using PPAN. a blend of a high viscosity liquid component with a solid prill in different sizes. Different ANFO blends from 15% up to 50% were conducted in order to establish application limits for the use of HDAN. Twelve combinations of emulsion/ANFO mixtures with PPAN and HDAN were selected to visualize and compare the actual blasting agent with the possible alternatives. The test data generated on the mixture using 50% ANFO HDAN produced the lowest energy value. theoretical calculations can be performed. 2. This time is used to calculate the bubble or gas energy. which is responsible for the shattering action associated with the explosive’s ability to fracture and break the material around the borehole. After the pressure is captured by the oscilloscope. 5. was outsourced to prepare different formulations and conduct underwater testing and VOD recordings. recording the pressure that is generated in the water over time. 4. the following analysis was made: 1.

Similar results were found in 85% emulsion /15% ANFO HDAN and finally ANFO and straight emulsion with no visible fumes. no fumes are generated in a blast (red. If the correct blend is not correctly made. Additionally. The main risk associated with the new blend would be a lack of quality control in the mixing process.900 833 813 828 856 856 844 800 671 600 500 400 645 No Detonation 700 300 Shock Energy (cal/cc) Bubble Energy (cal/cc) 200 Emulsion ANFO 85% EM 85% EM 70% EM 70% EM 70% EM 50% EM 50% EM /15% /15% /30% /30% /30% /50% /50% ANFO ANFO ANFO ANFO ANFO ANFO ANFO (PP) (HD) (PP) (HD) (HD) (PP) (HD) (+1% Fuel) Total (cal/cc) Figure 4. followed by 70% emulsion /30% ANFO HDAN with less generation of NOx . Under normal operations. High content of colored fumes were observed from 50/50 blends using both PPAN and HDAN. then a different outcome might be obtained after the blast.Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 9 of 10 . Analysis and Discussion of the Results Significant technical progress has been made at the Pribbenow Mine using the new explosives formulation. on bench operational excellence is required to ensure the right proportion of HDAN. poor fragmentation or a misfire. high density prill has no internal voids to facilitate hot spot generation. obtaining successful results in NOx fume mitigation. Although sensitivity issues in the proposed blend decrease with the use of microspheres. particularly Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). a high percentage of HDAN prill may lead to a insensitive product. for instance. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . process control is critical in order to achieve successful blast results. brown or yellow) using a blend with a minimum content of 75% of emulsion. Underwater Energy Data (Volume Basis) Fumes Generation To provide information about the generation of Oxides of Nitrogen. a comparative study was conducted at the same time that the explosives charges were detonated for underwater testing. a post blast fume assessment has been made at the Pribbenow Mine during the last 10 months. In contrast with PPAN. However. This analysis was made with the aid of a video camera in order to capture the relative NOx evolution from the different compositions. For that reason.

followed by the shovel productivity calculation and associate these variables with the design powder factor. Underwater testing confirms the feasibility of the proposed blend using HDAN. This project sought to provide quantitative proof of the advantages caused by the proposed blend with HDAN. R. and more than 2% of fuel. To find out this expansion factor. Use of High Density Ammonium Nitrate in Blasting. field and underwater studies have confirmed the successful implementation of HDAN prills in this specific operation. G. (1994). C. J. Copyright © 2014 International Society of Explosives Engineers 2014G . Conduct Comparative Detonation Testing of a Number of Various HANFO Blends Prepared With Both Ammonium Nitrate Porous Prills and Ammonium Nitrate High Density Prills (Underwater Energy VOD). showing similar values in energy release (shock and gas) when compared to different emulsion/ANFO PPAN mixtures. Kansas: UTEC Corp. International Society of Explosives Engineers. Described tests in this project achieve scientific proof that the proposed 70/30 blend is booster-sensitive. Eck. and releases more energy. L. Conclusions Ammonium Nitrate High Density (HDAN) has been compared with the commonly accepted porous prill Ammonium Nitrate (PPAN) used for ANFO. (2012). with the intention to demonstrate the same reliable detonation properties at certain mixing proportions. the amount of explosive might not be reduced in the same proportion. In this paper. Acknowledgments Drummond Ltd Colombia wishes to thank Orica Mining Services and Nelson Brothers for its technical and financial support throughout this project. (1995).While it is true that the new blend contains 35% more energy (shock and bubble). Riverton. (2004). Fueled HDAN prill mixed with emulsion in a 70/30 proportion has proven to impart more shock and gas energy than the actual 50/50 blend with PPAN. & Irwin. Sixth High Tech Seminar Blasting Technology.Impelmentation of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Prill in Emulsion Blends in an Open Pit Coal Mining Application 10 of 10 . Instrumentation and Explosives Applications.. Several laboratory tests. which cannot exceed values of 30% of HDAN prill in the mixture. Special thanks go to the company project sponsor Hugh Pierce who believed in this idea from the very beginning. The Use of High Density Ammonium Nitrate Mini-prill Blasting Agents to Reduce Drilling and Blasting Costs. Drill and Blast Optimization at the Sparkhule Limestone Quarry. a rock fragmentation size study must be obtained through 2D image based software. HDAN prill can be used under certain conditions of fuel absorption and emulsion/HDAN blend. L. Martin. Udy. develops a VOD faster than the actual blend (PPAN). L. it has been attempted to provide laboratory and field test results to give the reader strong evidence of the reliability and effectiveness of HDAN prill used in emulsion/ANFO blends in large diameters holes. P. Bibliography Adams. International Society of Explosives Engineers. has better shelf life.