The battle to remain competitive and minimising the impact of pollution is not only topical in global terms, but equally relevant in our local mining environment too. The impact of human activities on oceans, fresh water, air and soil is starting to take on particularly alarming consequential dimensions.
“This is negatively affecting the very quality and likely hood of our long-term survival as a species. The impact of daily operations from the mining environment should deservedly be on the agenda of any presentation along with safety, health and performance, if we are serious about safeguarding our future survival. We need a serious culture change before our very existence as we know it, is reduced to junk status,” says Charles Hurly, marketing lead at Solar Mining Services.
Solar Mining Services recently held an accessories trial for the Supreme Det – a competitively priced, tough, reliable, easy-to-use and flexible product. The explosives accessory is used to initiate explosives in the hole according to a pre-determined timing sequence. The trials’ departure point was to provide a cost-effective solution for blasting accessories. The concept is to minimise the amount of wasted or unnecessary shock tube plastic by supplying appropriate and adequate lengths for the blast hole patterns on the face.
The trials, headed up by Solly Mahlangu, a Solar Explosives engineer, also made recommendations in the report. These have bearings on pattern designs, clear precise marking and observations on drilling accuracy by depth and angle, and could be implemented by the mine to assist in identifying other potential operational mining efficiencies.
“All of the above have a direct and significant impact on fragmentation, advance and face shape. It is imperative that burden and spacing is drilled according to the designs, as this is directly linked to the length of the detonator units supplied. Hole depth also plays a key role to ensure the designed advance is achieved,” says Hurly.
The results of the trials were a significant reduction in the amount of waste plastic and cost saving in detonators due to shorter lengths. The other consequence is that the need and improvement of hole drilling accuracy (burdens and spacing) would also improve the advance per blast. This is due to the fact that the quantity of explosives per hole would be adequate relative to the volume of rock required to be broken. As a result, good fragmentation, easier dig ability and improved face shapes could be achieved.