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Maptek targets surface mine productivity

World Coal,

Maptek™ BlastLogic™ technology targets productivity at surface mines by delivering immediate access to all operational drill and blast data for analysis.

Wesfarmers Curragh Mine introduced the technology in 2012 to optimise drilling contract resources. The BlastLogic system provides:

  • Improved collation and assessment of data as it is drilled
  • A single reference for all drill and blast data
  • Increased accuracy for charge placement.

The mine is located in the Bowen Basin, Queensland, and covers approximately 12 600 hectares. It produces approximately 8.5 million tpa of metallurgical coal for export and 3 million tpa of steam coal for domestic consumption. Significant faulting and 4 seams ranging from 1.8 m to 6.5 m thick pose challenges for coal recovery. Drill and blast breaks more than 100 million m3 of burden every year.

BlastLogic provided the key to accurate drill and blast for maximising productivity and minimising coal loss. Highlights include:

  • Creating a single source of data realised immediate benefits
  • Increased accuracy of charge placement and separation of holes allowed Curragh to get optimum value from its drilling contracts
  • Correct hole placement and separation is vital for improving wall control
  • Daily collar accuracy reports help Curragh easily identify holes drilled outside of specification before equipment leaves the area.

Reviewing drillhole depth against modelled surfaces in 3D streamlines assessment and identification of re-drills. BlastLogic field tablets save more than 20 hours a week in dip data entry. Updating drill patterns and charge rules instantly keeps the blast crew up to date with variations to the plan.

The technology allows Curragh to optimise explosive products used by reviewing historical data for hole conditions and blast performance. Topography, coal surfaces and videos can be attached to reports.

Curragh now experiences greater consistency across drilling and can monitor daily progress. Curragh can manage hard dig operations, quickly identify areas of concern and address equipment wear and tear or material loading issues before they become critical.

“With Maptek help on site and support from management we’ve been able to confidently roll out BlastLogic. It is now an integral part of our drill and blast process”, a source from the company commented.

Near term goals include tighter conformance of the design-implementation-reconciliation process. Taking advantage of the new BlastLogic interval loading tools will help Curragh evaluate and manage through-seam vibration and other sensitive blasts, as well as create an accurate geological database.

Looking ahead, Curragh anticipates that options such as the tie-up tool will provide further improvements for modelling blasts and managing consumables.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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