Optimization of blasting parameters in opencast mines

Rout, Manmit and Parida, Chinmay Kumar (2007) Optimization of blasting parameters in opencast mines. BTech thesis.



Drilling and blasting are the major unit operations in opencast mining. Inspite of the best efforts to introduce mechanization in the opencast mines, blasting continue to dominate the production. Therefore to cut down the cost of production optimal fragmentation from properly designed blasting pattern has to be achieved. Proper adoption of drilling and blasting can contribute significantly towards profitability and therefore optimization of these parameters is essential.
Rock breaking by drilling and blasting is the first phase of the production cycle in most of the mining operations. Optimization of this operation is very important as the fragmentation obtained thereby affects the cost of the entire gamut of interrelated mining activities, such as drilling, blasting, loading, hauling, crushing and to some extent grinding. Optimization of rock breaking by drilling and blasting is sometimes understood to mean minimum cost in the implementation of these two individual operations. However, a minimum cost for breaking rock may not be in the best interest of the overall mining system. A little more money spent in the rock-breaking operation can be recovered later from the system and the aim of the coordinator of the mining work should be to achieve a minimum combined cost of drilling, blasting, loading, hauling, crushing and grinding. Only a “balance sheet” of total cost of the full gamut of mining operations vis-à-vis production achieved can establish whether the very first phase- rock breaking- was “optimum” financially; leaving aside factors of human safety. An optimum blast is also associated with the most efficient utilization of blasting energy in the rock- breaking process, reducing blasting cost through less explosive consumption and less wastage of explosive energy in blasting, less throw of materials, and reduction of blast vibration resulting in greater degrees of safety and stability to the nearby structures.
Development of a Blast Optimization Model
Selection of proper explosive in any blasting round is an important aspect of optimum blast design. Basic parameters include VOD of explosive (m/s), Density (g/cc), Characteristic impedance, Energy output (cal/gm), and Explosive type (ANFO, Slurry, Emulsion etc.). However, all these parameters can not be taken for optimizing the blasting method successfully. Some of the parameters are taken for minimizing the blasting cost. These cost reduction and optimum blast design parameter will give an economical result. The parameters are
i. Drill hole diameter,
ii. Powder factor (desired),
iii. Cost of explosive,
iv. Numbers of holes required to blast.
The study of the various parameters of blasting suggests that the powder factor should be constant as per the requirement. The number of holes desired as per the explosive, the drill ihole diameter as available and the cost of explosive are kept as input. The spacing, bench height, burden, charge per hole as depending on the previous parameters can be calculated. From the different input and calculated parameters the total cost of the method is calculated and the least expensive method is selected as the optimized model. Blasting related information were collected from three different mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.(MCL) for implementation of the optimization model. A program was designed using visual basic on .net platform taking the above parameters into consideration to select the optimized model. It was observed that the program gives satisfactory results. A sample output of the program is as presented below:
The blast optimization model has been developed with simple methodologies which can be adopted by the mining industry to compare the explosive costs and achieve better blasting results and. The model developed is a user friendly one, since by keeping the powder factor and number of choices of explosives available as constant and by varying the parameters like drill hole diameter, number of holes and cost of explosives one can compare the explosive performance and accordingly take a decision to select the proper type of explosives for blasting. It may be noted, that the model has been developed based on case studies of three different mines of MCL, and it can be modified with collection of information from a large number of mines.
Nanda, N.K. (2003), “Optimization of mine production system through operation research techniques”, 19 th World Mining Congress, New Delhi, November, pp.583-595.
Pal Roy, P. (2005), “Terms and parameters influencing mine and ground excavations”, Rock blasting effects and operations, pp. 17-22,

Item Type:Thesis (BTech)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Blasting parameters, Opencast mines, VOD, ANFO, MCL
Subjects:Engineering and Technology > Mining Engineering
Divisions: Engineering and Technology > Department of Mining Engineering
ID Code:4287
Deposited By:Hemanta Biswal
Deposited On:06 Jul 2012 10:32
Last Modified:06 Jul 2012 10:32
Supervisor(s):Sahu, H B

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