20 Santiago Chile, May 2006 Fragblast-8

INTRODUCTION
The principal mission of the Mining Department is to
provide to the processing plant a mineral in optimal
condition for its subsequent treatment, either at the lowest
cost or at the highest possible production rate, depending
on the management philosophy of the mining operation. Of
high importance also are the requirements to minimize the
environmental impact, to ensure a strong community
benefit, and to provide a safe and rewarding working
environment.
To win the mineral, it is usually necessary to remove
large quantities of waste or low-grade material, the
quantities of which are generally much greater than the
quantities of ore being mined and processed. It is
common, in the copper mining industry of Chile and Peru,
to have a stripping ratio in the order of 3/1; this being
larger still in the mining of gold, reaching levels
approaching 20/1. As far as the operations in the pit are
concerned, the primary cost item then becomes the
waste, not the ore, due to the greater quantities and
longer haul distances. It isn’t unusual to see the primary
focus directed towards the production of mineral to the
plant, while the extraction of waste attracts insufficient
attention to permit optimization of the total mineral
recovery process. The specific mission of blasting is,
therefore, to pre-condition the rock, either mineral or
waste, for its subsequent treatment in the most
economical way possible for the whole business.
The first step of the comminution process is blasting.

This is nothing more than the application of external
energy for the size reduction of the material. The task
therefore, is to utilize the explosive energy in the most
efficient means, such that all the subsequent processes
can generate the highest possible value to the operation.
In this context, blasting complements the subsequent
crushing and grinding stages of the comminution
process, since breakage occurring in the pit represents
a reduction in work required in the crushers and grinding
circuits.
When we speak of material pre-conditioning for its
subsequent treatment, the first and obvious
beneficiaries of optimized pre-conditioning are the
excavators and trucks. Well fragmented material
promotes high shovel productivity, reduced truck
loading times, reduced maintenance, and reduced wear
rates on bucket teeth and tray bodies. The data is
difficult to procure, but there is strong evidence
(McKenzie, 2005,) that good fragmentation leads to
reduced bucket-fill times (Figure 2), increased bucket
fill factors (Figure 2), and reduced shovel and truck
maintenance costs, and these benefits apply equally to
both ore and waste. The influence of fragmentation is
perhaps a little surprising when the size of the
excavating equipment is considered – the data in
Figures 1 and 2 were obtained from P&H 4100A shovels,
and the estimated d80 sizes (sieve size through which
80% of material will pass) for the material being
excavated were estimated to be 150 mm (ore) and 400
mm (waste). Compared with the bucket size of 42 m3,

A. the tonnes loaded per bucket divided by the bucket fill time averaged over the entire blast) is 20 to 25% higher in ore than in waste. If the waste could be excavated 20 to 25% faster. what additional VALUE would this bring to the total operation? Figure 1: Comparison of bucket fill times for different materials.these blast fragment sizes seem small. diggability (i. but the data clearly shows a difference in terms of bucket fill times. and include the primary crusher and even subsequent milling . Chile (corlandi@enaex. Other beneficiaries lie outside the confines of the pit. In the data obtained from this study. in line with shovel performance in ore. May 2006 21 Figure 2: Reduced bucket fill times and increased bucket fill factors in ore (powder factor 350 g/t) compared with waste (powder factor 250 g/t). Australia (Cameron@blastechnology. 2005)..e. the justification for finer blasting in waste material may be easier to make. The Impact of Blasting on the Business of Mining Carlos Orlandi1 & Cameron McKenzie2 1 Enaex S. bucket fill factors. and truck load times.cl). based on several hundred truckloads for each blast (after McKenzie. The assertion that waste material does not require the same degree of fragmentation as ore may therefore be only partly true – if finer fragmentation in waste leads to lower removal costs and higher removal rates.com) Fragblast-8 Santiago Chile. chairman organizing committee Fragblast 2 Blastechnology.

2001).(SAG or AG mills). crushing. These sub-processes make up the Production Chain. It also requires that we define and quantify Value. and likewise in the increased efficiency of leaching through the increased specific surface area (Fribla et al. 2003) through decreasing the “work index”. Studies have demonstrated the importance of the creation of micro-fractures in the mineral in facilitating both crushing and grinding (Nielsen & Kristiansen. 2001. loading. Each one of these stages must contribute VALUE to the business. coinciding with maximization of . and each one of the stages of a chain is needed for the creation of the final product. Eloranta. grinding. consists of many separate stages or sub-processes such as drilling. at every stage in the Production Chain. 2000. and requires a greater knowledge of how the various sub-processes react to various changes in the nature of the material being processed. 1996. hauling. Optimization has to consider the value and profitability of the total business. but rather to maximize its contribution of value to the Global Process. Fribla & Orlandi. when considered in its full context. Generally in the mining industry. and not a focus on each operating unit in an individualized way. the objective of Operational Management is oriented towards the maximization of value. consistent with the strategic objectives of the business and in terms of dollars. PRODUCTION CHAIN V VALUE CHAIN The Mining Process. 2001. blasting. Katsabanis et al. etc. Each stage of the process must be optimized not for itself. flotation. Paley & Kojovic. This realization leads us to the Value Chain.

production capacity. whose optimum characteristics and properties must be defined in a clear and quantitative form. To achieve this. the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) must be defined. that considers from the Engineering design and appropriate equipment selection. based on the optimization of the resources available. to the Planning and Operation activities of the mine. through the application of “state of the art” level worldwide mining practices. • Definition of an Integrated Mining Plan. in particular for the transfer and the analysis of the information. We can summarize in the following way: • An optimized management of the Global Mining Process – The processing plant must tend towards a maximization of value creation for the business. all that we produce in the various stages of the Production Chain are the intermediate products. allowing a continuous improvement of productivity and a permanent reduction of operating costs. From this point of view. The application of rigorous methods and up-to-date technologies is an absolute necessity for the success of these objectives. that considers all . These must allow measurement of the grade of success achieved in the defined objectives for each stage. integrating technical information and process economics. identifying the deviations and “learning from the errors and defects” to achieve consistency in the final product. • The necessity of a Global Management Model. It is in the moment of defining the Mine Plan when it is possible to revise and integrate the external parameters with the direct production process.

• Incorporation of Current Technical Designs and the definition of Indices and Metrics of the Process Performance Evaluation. • Analysis of Parameters and Criteria of Planning and Operation with modern methodologies such as: Risk Analysis.. this means: • Produce a workable muckpile.the unit production processes. • Control environmental impacts.minimize unit costs. the bottom line is/was to minimize the budget without causing operational disruptions such as boulders for the shovels. Failure Mode Analysis. Summarized. process control and reduction of the variation of the key aspects • Permanent Benchmarking THE OBJECTIVES OF CONVENTIONAL BLASTING • Cost control. under the focus of creating value. • Use of modern Information Technology. The traditional focus of blasting has been the minimization of costs immediately related to the process. Under this style of blast management. This style of management was perhaps appropriate before we had . • Avoid collateral damage. • Minimize blasting cost. the appropriate dump location. including drilling and explosives/accessories. etc. considering the installation of expert systems. from Drill and Blast to the Processing Plant or in the case of waste material. with the ability of performance prediction. fly-rock. toxic gases and excessive over-break..

It has been considered unnecessary to know why or how the rock is broken.. and that the quality of the blasting is frequently controlled more by the quality of drilling than by the quality of the explosives.in accordance with Global Process Performance.available the on-line monitoring systems (e. it hasn’t been considered that the blast is a client of the drilling. How many mines in our countries (Latin America) have a quantitative quality control program for drilling? How many mines yield. in an appropriate form.. the geo-technical information of the rock. Often the Drill and Blast responsibilities in a mine are assigned to engineers recently graduated from university. and how can that value be increased by changing how the . Dispatch) which now allow us to measure and track in real time the instantaneous performance of almost every piece of machinery in the mine. for further knowledge of the rock to be fragmented? THE ALTERNATIVE VIEW OF BLASTING • Fragmentation. Likewise. it often appears unimportant that the young blasting engineer cater to the needs of his down-stream customers. we must define (or decide between the different clients and providers of the process) what is the value of the product. or how to achieve a product which has been specifically tailored to suit the next step in the Process Chain.g. and from this “convenient” position they can learn how the mine operates. That is. If we consider blasting as an element in the Value Chain. The sole interest is to minimize the cost of the Unit Operation.

hauling and crushing operations (Figure 3) highlights two important issues. the tonne of material that is most quickly loaded. Excluding maintenance issues. 2005. Figure 3: Cost minimization curve v Value maximization curve.e. and it is here that the efficiency and intensity of blasting affects the Value of the process. loading. after McKenzie. most quickly crushed and most quickly passes through the grinding circuit). A process model combining blasting. the slope of both curves is steeper before . the cost to run an excavator is more or less constant. with costs controlled by capital depreciation. Firstly. and as we are seeing. the average powder factor required to maximize Value is significantly higher than that required to minimize costs. on a per-hour basis. as a function of the intensity of blasting (powder factor). Figure 3. since it will produce higher productivity for the same capital expenditure. one can focus on the tonne that is the most economical. But the cost per tonne of material excavated will also depend on how many tonnes of material can be excavated per hour of operation. thereby rendering it amenable to excavation and removal. or the fastest tonne (i. labor. the objective of blasting is to break rock. and energy costs. This will be the tonne that complies with all the requirements of the Global Process. Secondly. for different types of mineral as well. The qualities of this tonne of broken rock will be different for waste and for mineral. Rather than striving to achieve “the cheapest tonne broken”.blasting is conducted. Fundamentally. most quickly hauled. servicing.

for the guarantee of safety and the viability of the Project Fragmentation and breakage are the obvious. and designed . Figure 4: Effect of the primary crusher on soft ore (left) and hard ore(right). Blasting may be the only opportunity to effectively pre-condition soft ores. THE PRINCIPAL BLASTING CONSTRAINT • Control of Slopes. but little size reduction (and value adding) occurs in the crusher when processing soft ore.. Figure 4 shows the effect of the primary crusher on changing the size distribution of blasted material presented to the SAG mill for a soft ore. highlighting that the penalties associated with under-blasting are greater than those associated with over-blasting. it is possible through the use of size distribution measurement tools based on digital images (WipFrag. and a hard ore.the turning points than after. Split. Significant size reduction (and value adding) occurs with hard ore.. whereas the crusher can complement the blasting for hard ores. to assess the blast on a quantitative basis. as opposed to the traditional qualitative and subjective evaluations. it is clear that delivering the optimum feed to the grinding mills requires close liaison and communication between blasting engineers and primary crusher operators. But how many mine operators and mine managers prefer to err on the side of over-blasting than on the side of under-blasting? After only a preliminary analysis. It becomes immediately apparent that blasting and crushing need to be coordinated. FragScan). and it may be difficult for a crusher to simultaneously process two completely different ore types. Today.

There are two primary factors explaining the commonly heard adage “in this mine it isn’t possible to have clean walls and half barrels. The second is an absence of a Value Model which quantifies the benefits of clean and stable walls. typical in this part of the world. Even single bench rock falls and failures can cause equipment damage. But breakage is not restricted to the zone of rock in front of a blasthole. thereby allowing confirmation of. and this can impact on the stability of pit walls. and the safety of personnel and equipment working in the pit.. Today there exists a wide range of instruments that permit the accurate assessment of changes in rock quality and slope stability. and in doing so quantify the success of the blast in terms of geotechnical stability and safety. in heavily structured material. and which permits a clear decision on appropriate expenditure to achieve the required results. The same process which causes fragmentation also causes damage behind the last row of blastholes. May 2006 23 Figure 5 highlights what we believe is a false paradigm in porphyry copper type mines.outcomes of blasting. May 2006 Fragblast-8 Fragblast-8 Santiago Chile. The first is a lack of understanding about the technical issues controlling the effectiveness of smooth wall blasting..”. Using practical engineering tools and models. the slope design criteria or Risk Assessment programs.. it is possible to quantify the negative impact of the blast. or injury and death to workers. or adjustment to. How do we calculate the VALUE of clean safe walls with minimal deterioration of in-situ rock . Figure 5: Excellent quality smooth walls in Chilean copper mine. 22 Santiago Chile.

When cleaner walls mean safer conditions. the value is easy to calculate and the dollar figure is large. Once a decision is made as regards design slope angle. it is much more difficult to attach a dollar value – so we don’t usually try. explosive . with the implicit assertion that reducing vibration levels in the pit walls will reduce the extent of blast-induced fracturing.strength? When cleaner walls allow steeper walls. planar failures). and we generally focus instead on finding ways to produce final walls at minimal cost. There is tantalizing evidence that we can quite easily detect fresh fracturing and fracture dilation occurring at any point behind blasts (McKenzie & Holley. and the probability of block dislodgement (e. wedge failures. What is the VALUE of reducing the probability of failure by 30%.g. we quickly forget the assumptions of minimal disturbance to rock strength which are inherent in the pit slope design calculations. which meet the approval of regulatory bodies. so this catches the eye of most managers. This then permits 3 dimensional modeling of vibration in the zone behind blasts. incorporating the effects of pattern geometry. Many articles have been written demonstrating the effectiveness of vibration reduction in the control of damage. and almost never conduct measurements to confirm those assumptions. when pit slope angle has already been decided? What operations even MEASURE the degree and extent of damage induced in pit walls? Most smooth wall blast design philosophies address vibration control. suggesting that this is an area worthy of attention and measurement as a means of Quality Assurance. 2004) and in this manner quantify the shape of damage profiles and estimate critical vibration levels which initiate either fresh fracturing or fracture dilation.

but also through the . and modeling has advanced to a stage where it can provide very clear directions for identifying optimum rock-specific blasting strategies. delay accuracy and initiation sequence. because we are unable to determine the different VALUES that the various options bring to the Global Process.distribution. • There is now compelling evidence that more intensive blasting improves processes such as leaching. for 2 different smooth wall blast designs (model results). But the basis for selection of the most appropriate design remains that of cost. The cost factor may be overriding safety! Figure 6: Probability of damage as a function of distance behind back row of blastholes. delay timing. Finer is not always better.e. IMPACT OF A BLAST: SUMMARY In Mineral: • The Explosive provides the most economic energy for the fragmentation of the rock • The blast is the most efficient stage of the Comminution Process. the probability of exceeding critical vibration levels) can be established for any proposed smooth wall blast design (Figure 6). from which damage probability curves (i. from both the technical and economical points of view (in value contribution) • Blasting philosophies should be matched to rock characteristics. This appears to be a powerful tool which permits a very comprehensive comparison to be made between various wall blasting options as regards the effectiveness of vibration control and the degree and extent of likely damage. not only by producing finer material.

• We should consider the impact of the fragmentation and muckpile swell on the costs of equipment maintenance. • There will be a limit as regards fragmentation in waste – if blasted too fine. the benefits from which are likely to far outweigh the additional costs. and maintenance costs. crushing. not just the bucket fill time.increased generation of micro-fractures which further increase the available surface area for the chemical reactions to occur. • There are certain psychological effects as well: A shovel operator will take more time to load a truck if the size of the material can potentially damage the truck if loaded too quickly. and a proportionally large fraction of mining costs are associated with waste removal. • Better blasting in waste allows increased loading rates. • The cost/benefit curves suggest that the risks associated with under-blasting are significantly greater than the risks associated with over-blasting. that is letting the material drop without great care for the truck tray. more waste material is moved than mineral. so that fragmentation may also affect the bucket discharge time. In Waste: • In the majority of the mine sites. In the Safety and Viability of the Mining Project: . grinding. and a greater resource allocation to ore handling. hauling. • Compelling evidence of the powerful leveraging effect of optimized blasting on loading. the additional blasting costs are not recovered by reduced load and haul costs. reduced hauling costs. a faster exposure of ore.

it is possible to maximize pit slope angles. The impact of the blast in creating value remains clear if we define this Unit Operation (Orlandi 2001) in the Corporate Mission as: “. The size distribution required for the mineral will be also dependent on the type of processing. and/or the crushing and grinding equipment. • The probability of wall failure can be reduced by more effective smooth wall blasting. we must clearly identify the subsequent processes in the Production Chain for the material that we are going to blast. it is relatively clear how to define the optimum . In this way. minimizing the risk of injury/damage. minimizing the effective strip ratio and improving the economic parameters of the investment. The optimum fragment size distribution will be different for the mineral that goes to the plant.”.. but rather his/her customers. for each different mineral type and grade..Pre-conditioning of the rock for its subsequent treatment. and must be established for each respective customer. For the ore. and for the waste that goes to the dumps.• With carefully controlled smooth blasting. though the VALUE of the reduced probability can not yet be translated into a dollar figure. • With effective smooth blasting it is possible to obtain clean and safe walls for both personnel and equipment. establishing indicators of specific achievement for both the waste and the ore.. It isn’t the Drill and Blast Engineer who determines the characteristics that the blast product (that is the resulting muckpile) must have...

. It is their responsibility to develop the mathematical-functional model of the process. in spite of the larger quantity of waste that usually is moved in open cut mining. They must report to the owners or shareholders on the contribution of this process to total value. . However the definition of optimum waste characteristics to optimize excavation and transport. the value of which exceeds the associated additional costs (increased profitability of recovery). The relationship between muckpile characteristics and shovel productivity remains largely unexplored. even though few operations have prepared this specification. with the appropriate performance indicators that demonstrate the success (additional value) of the optimum balance.product size distribution. OPPORTUNITY • To maximize the benefits that the blast can contribute to the production chain. rather than on the technical or economic result of the unit process.high crusher productivity. has not been clear in practice. This says we know more about what the Mill Customer expects than we know about what the Shovel/Truck Customer expects. adding “value” to the blast product The opportunities to maximize benefits to the Global Operation by more effective blasting must be embraced by those responsible for the Management of the Business. The principal direct impacts of a blast are shown as follows: The blast adds value if: • It allows an increase in the Processing Capacity of the Mill.

THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY The primary tool used to estimate the likely outcome from a blast has traditionally been the simple powder factor (quantity of explosive per tonne or cubic meter of material). in which management cling to inherited paradigms such as “a powder factors greater than 0.high maintenance and repair costs.reduced crusher productivity. Combined with years of hard-earned experience and consistent geology. we are expected today to have a much greater degree of control over costs and machinery performance. the humble powder factor still carries an inordinate weight in many operations. • The pit wall design slopes are not achieved. • Operational safety is reduced. .6 kg/m3 is simply wasting money”. it is rare to find consistent geology. this simple parameter frequently provided quite reliable predictions of blasting outcomes. a strong management focus . In many operations. and in many operations rare to find blasting engineers with more than a few years of experience. • Environmental impact is increased.high mill throughput. .low maintenance costs.reduced mill throughput. Further. . the value of which exceeds the associated cost savings (decreased profitability of recovery).. . • Operational safety is enhanced. Despite this. • The pit wall design slopes are achieved. Today. The Blast reduces value if: • It causes a decrease in the Processing Capacity of the Mill.

though the goal continues to elude us. as well as quantitative assessment of blasting outcomes. for example. To extract the maximum benefit from the use of electronic initiation. A rock mass is naturally a nonhomogeneous and anisotropic medium. and its physical and mechanical properties usually vary throughout an ore-body. A reliable and comprehensive “blasting index” of the rock is needed. The use of appropriate tools is therefore required in order to quantitatively describe the relevant parameters of the rock that is to be submitted to the energetic and dynamic charge detonation. more precise control over blasting outcomes has spawned technological innovation in blasting to the point where the availability of increasingly sophisticated technologies obliges a more profound characterization of the material to be blasted. significantly influencing blasting results in different geological domains. The potential for. Drilling provides an obvious opportunity to capture crucial information about the rock and its response during blasting. and expectation of.is directed towards ensuring that the powder factor for each blast lies below an almost-arbitrary budget limit prepared without prior consultation with the rock. with the promise of allowing adjustment of the energy distribution during blasthole charging. requires knowledge of what is being called the “Mechanical-Acoustic Model” that considers “non-traditional” parameters in our blast design deliberations such as: . that is subject to current “state of the art” investigations in Blasting Engineering.

2. gravel) • Use of Variable Energy Explosives .1.Aggregate (crushed material. JKRMC.. from the Australian Institute. sequence) .High VOD Explosives . and JKSimBlast.Nitroparaffins (Comsol.Initiation (timing. Analysis and Blast Simulation.Average size of the insitu blocks and their distribution or dispersion.Variable density . such as QED Plus® from Austin Powder.Air decks • Exploitation of the Dynamics of the Blasting Process .Hybrids .Systems of Precise Initiation • Computer models for Design.Micro-spheres . widely used in Chile.Oxygenation . IS A PROCESS . NP-SERA) .Stemming Reinforcement .Diluents . Orientation of the discontinuities 3.Acoustic impedance of the material The principal tools at our disposal to vary and tailor the results of blasting to match client specifications or expectations are: • Adjusting Powder Factors • Adjusting the Distribution of the Charges • Optimization of the Explosive Confinement: .Aluminum . direction.. THE PRODUCTION CHAIN.

and electricity either generated in thermo-electric plants (petroleum. In an established operation it isn’t easy to determine the optimum relations between the different unit operations. The sources of energy are basically explosives.OF TRANSFORMATION OF ENERGY An economic focus on the Mining Production Chain shows us that this is a Process of Energy Transformation. other equipment. however we can’t import the knowledge or experience from other environments. for its later physical and chemical treatment. The understanding of the Energy Balance of the global process is a powerful management tool. other rock. May 2006 Fragblast-8 Fragblast-8 Santiago Chile. for a wide range of types of rock and industrial equipment. real time performance data from equipment. we frequently give little . That is to say. In any case. Various publications show that the proportion of the cost of energy necessary to induce a change of similar proportions through explosives. and other circumstances. applied as a process of pre-conditioning via the reduction 24 Santiago Chile. its transformation into a commercial product. we need to know more. natural gas) or bought from public networks. in the mine. May 2006 25 of material size and incorporation of micro-fractures. crusher and grinder is in the order of 1 / (4-6) / (8-12). carbon. In spite of the existence of specialized instrumentation and platforms of communication for gathering on-line. This indicates that the blast is the most efficient step in the comminution process. We need to generate it from our own mines and situations.

The authors are sure that there doesn’t exist an appropriate way to incorporate technologies of the latest generation for the improvement of our business.priority to the task of transforming this data into useful information for the Management Team. In this respect. it is fundamental to highlight the idea of “negotiating” the objectives expected of the blast between its different clients. THE IMPROVEMENT CYCLE In the administration of a Continuous Improvement Group in a mine. Geology. if we don’t have the resources. but we must search for the optimum for the global operation. These departments are principally: Planning. The requirements of these clients are sometimes conflicting. without previously assuring that we have the resources to extract the benefits of the new technology. or tools to utilize the new information? We should be able to anticipate the benefits to the Value Chain and the Improvement Cycle. where it is assumed the blast is the process initiator. and the impact of each one of our own activities in incorporating value is based on Groups of Continuous Improvement. and clearly define the requirements for the new technologies and support systems. there have been various successful experiences in Chile. Operations and Plant. commitment. that have assisted the respective mining companies to be leaders on a world level in the mining of copper. Geo-technic. not that of the client with the most power or influence in the . The work methodology that can assist us to advance in the understanding of our Global Process. Why purchase a new on-line data system.

This. For example. loaders to clean the . Stop the extraction because the shovel reached the designed bench line. It isn’t always possible to acquire or contract additional equipment. It is very common to observe that the factor having the greatest impact on blasting results is the quality of the design implementation and drill plan rather than the explosive itself (type of explosive. such as the slope quality and its impact on “the bottom line” of the Statement of Results of the company. the precision of its angle or its correct depth. even if it can easily remove more material? Carry out buffer blasts or presplitting in small diameters even if the available equipment has larger diameters and is more efficient? A short term decision. powder factor). is a complex situation. There seems to be little awareness of the importance of Quality Control in drilling in achieving the expected result of a blast. such as complying with the daily extraction goals. can sometimes prevail over the longer term interests. the success of slope control is frequently related to the inefficiencies of the Production Equipment. although it may be a trivial problem. and many operations immediately focus on the explosive as “the guilty party” when results are unfavorable.organizational structure. the demand for “meters drilled” will not guarantee a good location of the hole. In an analogous form. such as drills with a smaller diameter. A change that can seem technically obvious is often in reality impractical if it wasn’t foreseen and addressed appropriately in the Mining Plan.

However. It is clear that it is not always possible in practical terms to apply sophisticated concepts as useful tools to the management of a business. on the other side.” is the excuse in many cases.. neither is it possible to bend the Laws of Mother Nature. Few professionals make decisions with regard to knowing or referring to themes such as wave propagation or fracture theory. we must learn to use the . there is limited knowledge in the mining industry of the physical fundamentals of the daily phenomena that we confront. Importantly. Generally speaking. but rather only production volume. which generally don’t consider work quality indexes. These are. The current information systems and data administration systems should have the capacity to allow a complex analysis of the variables of the mining process as a whole. There also exist contract type restrictions such as the productivity bonuses of the equipment operators. is to establish cause and effect relations between the parameters that we have the capacity of measuring and adjusting in the operation and relate these to the measured and predicted results.walls or backhoes to clean the “crests”. There is a tendency to regard specific experiences as representing inexplicable departures from the universal concepts of physics. “In our mine things are different. perverse incentives that can have complex negative impacts on the optimization of the business.. The way that we see. without considering the characteristics of each case. in the short term at least. in short. to evade the responsibility of investigating and understanding the problem.

Failure Mode Analysis. etc. Simulation of the Blasting Process Systems. together with the ability of computational simulation should allow the integration of the majority of the unit operations into a complex but useful network. that will allow control of our Mining Process (Mine – Plant – Market). instruments and software. Today we have the use of innumerable support tools. Dispatch High Precision Data). to model “our” process and the power to incorporate these sophisticated procedures of analysis and control. Systems for Fragmentation Assessment through Photo-analysis. and to transform the data into information upon which decisions can be made by use of Process Models. in .g. SUMMARY • The Blast. with support systems of the latest information technology (Risk Analysis. Registry Systems of Equipment Vital Data. Systems of Structural Mapping in 3D.data we are constantly gathering (e. the rock for its subsequent processing. has the mission of pre-conditioning. to achieve the maximization of the value incorporation as a product of management excellence. or preparing. Tendencies/Trends Analysis of Active Parameters of the Process. The pre-requisite step will be to learn certain techniques such as “fuzzy logic” and neural networks so as to improve our knowledge of the phenomenology of the processes themselves. combining artificial intelligence and our knowledge. The application of statistical tools.) Our challenge is to develop an Expert System. as the first stage of the rock comminution process.

pre-conditioning (reduction of the Work Index). we know too. damage to the walls. and grinding.g. crushing. • A missing link in the Value Chain is our ability to quantify the VALUE of improved pit wall stability. REFERENCES • Eloranta. • It must be linked with the Mining Plan and correctly implanted for the value creation of the business throughout the Production Chain. using appropriate explosives and systems of high precision initiation • It is necessary to define the relevant Key Performance Indicators of the mining process: fragmentation (size distribution). e. Improve Milling Through Better Powder Distribution.. Until we can do that. energy consumption. • Today. in dollar terms. Further development in Quantitative Risk Assessment would appear to be a high priority. swell of the muckpile. dust) • A system of measurement should be implanted to continually assess these parameters: “that which cannot be measured. ISEE. and reduced probability of failure. can not be controlled”. J.order to obtain a commercial product in the most economic way possible. as well as in the movement of waste material (productivity of extraction equipment and transport). and impact on the environment and personnel. 2001. . that we can impact on aspects such as the efficiency of leaching. hauling. Proc 27th Annual Conf. we can not make properly informed decisions regarding wall control blasting. dilution. • It is necessary to know (=quantify) the impact of blasting on the processes of loading.

A study of damage profiles behind blasts. Effects on Economics in the process of optimization of the specific load of explosive and its relation with the micro-fractures generated through Blasting. pp 55-63. Micro-fracturing Produced by the Explosive and the Increase of the Dissolution of Metal in an Oxidized Copper Ore. Navea... N.. Jan 28-31. D.D. 2004. C. 2005. USA. Montreal. K. 26 Santiago Chile. Orlandi. ISEE. • Fribla. • Fribla. Small Scale Study of Damage Due to Blasting and Implications on Crushing and Grinding. Canada. and Holley.. Blasting – A Focus on Value.. USA. and Kelebec. C. S. 3rd Jornadas de Tronadura ASIEX 2001. Feb 02-05. ASIEX Conference 2005. M.. • Paley. C. 1996. USA. USA Jan 28-31. New Orleans. Feb 01-04. S. C.Orlando. J.. November 28-29.. ISEE. K. Proc 29th Annual Conf. Pelley. 2nd Jornadas de Tronadura ASIEX 2000. Proc 27th Annual Conf. pp 203-214. Blasting-CrushingGrinding Optimisation of an Integrated Comminution System. pp 65-81. Gregersen. pp 355364. 2000. • McKenzie.. T. 30th Annual Conf. pp 269-277. Proc Fragblast 5.K. Orlando. Adjusting Blasting to Increase SAG Mill Throughput at the Red Dog Mine. Nashville.P. 2001. • Orlandi. P. ASIEX. & Kojovic. 2003... C. May 2006 Fragblast-8 .. 2001. C. Chile. Viña del Mar. and Kristiansen. ISEE. Precise Initiation. • Katsabanis. Blasting for Open Cut Mining Conference. 2001. May 25-27. M. • Nielsen.. Iquique. • McKenzie. Orlandi.