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Site-specific blasting model for mine-to-mill optimization

Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration , 2011, Vol. 330, No. 1, pp. 543-548

Kim, K.M.; Kemeny, J.


A site-specific blasting model has been developed for the Asarco Mission mine. The main inputs to the model are the in situ block size (F80), the post-blast fragmentation (P80) and the intact tensile strength (To). The output from the model is the specific blast energy (ESE). Modern techniques are being used to obtain the input parameters for the site-specific blast fragmentation model. In particular, image processing software is used to obtain both the in situ block size and the post-blast fragmentation, and the Schmidt hammer is used to obtain the tensile strength at numerous locations throughout the rock mass. An initial model was developed using five test shots in an area of the mine that contains argillite and is relatively homogeneous. This process also included calibrating Schmidt hammer readings against actual Brazilian tensile measurements. The model for argillite will be updated as more tests are conducted, and the model will be extended to the four other primary rock types at the Asarco Mission mine.