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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.110 n.4 Johannesburg Apr. 2010




Blast optimization at Kriel Colliery



A.M. Neale

Department of Mining Engineering, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa




Kriel Colliery has experienced some sub-standard blast results on the overburden. Blast results are considered poor when the fragmentation is too big, back break into the new highwall, capping is experienced and/or excess overburden material is thrown into the void. Poor blasting leads to lower productivity, equipment breakdowns, and poor drilling and blasting results on the adjacent blast, contamination of coal or loss of coal. A simulation was developed in Microsoft Excel to model blasting results while changing various parameters. From the simulation results, it could be seen that a change of blast design could be beneficial. As an example, smaller drilling patterns were simulated (10 m x 10 m to 8 m x 8 m, and 8 m x 8 m to 7 m x 7 m in Pit 5 and Pit 6 respectively) in combination with changes in explosives (P700 emulsion vs. ANFO) and drill bit diameter (311mm vs. 251mm). The results show that each of the options has a specific scenario that will be most beneficial to the mine. These results are quite specific and subject to variable inputs. The purpose of the example is to demonstrate how the simulation can be used as a tool to asses blast design variations.



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Paper written on project work carried out in partial fulfilment of B.Eng Mining

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