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A blast record down under for BME’s AXXIS

Published by
World Coal,

BME’s AXXIS digital initiation system, Omnia Subsidiary Advanced Initiating Systems (AIS) has successfully blasted 4485 detonators in an Australian northeastern state of Queensland coal mine.

“The blast broke 2.8 million m3 of overburden, and involved the drilling of 2242 holes,” commented Trevor Grant, Managing Director of AIS. “A large blast like this has many benefits for the client, including less downtime for all equipment as stoppages related to blasting are less frequent. Typically an area of this magnitude would take three to four separate shocktube blasts to fire, which entails three or four mine stoppages.”

The blast used 12 blasting boxes, including one master box and over 155 km of wire. Each hole contained a 15 m and 45 m AXXIS detonator. The robustness of the AXXIS detonators allowed the blastholes to be loaded without pillow decking, which helps reduce overall loading time of the blast. The blast required two AIS staff on site and was loaded in eight days.

“The blast was remote-fired from a kilometre away, within a 15 minute window,” said Grant. “There were no problems with any of the detonators, with every one testing 100% before the blast.”

AXXIS provides a full two-way communication between the blasting box and detonators during detonator logging, however, there is no direct communication with the detonators. The system allows the programming of detonators to fire at one millisecond intervals, while up to 600 detonators can be fired from each box, or 500 detonators per multiple linked box.

The system also includes BME’s AXXIS electronic delay detonators, which have high accuracy compared to traditional shocktube detonator systems.

“This accuracy and timing flexibility supports the detonation of small, multiple charges in each blasthole to keep vibration levels down,” commented Grant. “This further enhances safety in the opencast mining environment, as high vibration levels from blasting can trigger pit-wall failure.”

BME has also developed blast design software: BlastMap III, which enables complex timing designs and analysis of the results for each blast.

Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs

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