Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
PEARTON, S.P.. The application of pumpable emulsions in narrow-reef stoping. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2015, vol.115, n.6, pp. 489-497. ISSN 2411-9717.
Pumpable emulsion explosives have been available to surface and underground massive mining operations for decades, and their unique properties offer significant advantages in terms of improved safety, reliability, and performance. However, the benefits of pumpable emulsions have been unavailable to narrow-reef mining operations due to the lack of technology necessary for their successful implementation in this challenging environment. Despite efforts to promote and enhance the safety and performance of bulk emulsions for narrow-reef stoping, little research has been undertaken to advance the pump technologies required for their implementation. This has resulted in a gap in knowledge and technology, and as a consequence the successful implementation of a pumpable emulsion system has consistently eluded the narrow-reef environment. The purpose of the following investigation was to evaluate the viability of pumpable emulsion explosives for use in South African narrow-reef mining operations. By approaching the problem from multiple perspectives, this research aimed firstly to propose a theoretical framework and suite of equipment suitable for the implementation of pumpable emulsions within the narrow-reef environment. Through the development of this suite of pumpable emulsion technology, tests could be undertaken on the proposed narrow-reef emulsion formulation and pumpable emulsion technology to obtain the necessary understanding of the performance of the system under controlled operating conditions prior to its implementation in the broader mining industry.
Keywords : blasting technology; explosives; pumpable emulsions.