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MANAGING COAL LOSS USING BLAST

MODELS AND FIELD MEASUREMENT


August 2015
Murali Nagarajan, Specialist Engineer
Anthony Green Senior Blast Technician
Paul Brown Blast Technician
Peter Dare-Bryan Senior Mining Engineer
FRAGBLAST11
BACKGROUND
Coal Loss was an issue with losses
from
Coal roof
Coal edge
Reduced amount of coal being
uncovered
Increased operating cost
Developed a 5 step process:
Develop a baseline and understand
the coal loss mechanisms
Implement a QA/QC system
Model the coal loss
Develop a coal loss reduction
program
Implement the program and
measure

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BASELINE
Correlate damage zones with drill
hole location

Backfilling what is better drill


cuttings or gravel?

What is touch coal?

What is the true stand off?

What is the variation between


design and actual?

Need to implement a QA/QC


process

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IMPLEMENT A QA/QC PROCESS
Calibrate the touch coal holes by gamma
logging and give feedback to the drillers as to
their accuracy

Update the coal model

Use the new model for drill depth

Tighten redrill variation limits

Backfill with gravel Lost coal


Parting band
Develop load sheets for each blasthole and
filled out with actual information. Damaged coal

Audit the process and use continuous


improvement

Losses 11.5% edge loss and estimated 2%


required washing

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MODELLING - BASELINE

Strip width 60m


Bench height 20-25m
Void 12-18m

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COAL LOSS REDUCTION
Issues
Coal edge buffering
Environmental

Risk Assessment
Dynamic buffering

Options to be evaluated
'Baby' deck
Stratablast

Minimise complexity of in the drill & blast processes

Minimise changes is the mining process

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COAL LOSS BABY DECK
Initial option due to minimise complexity and
changes to the mining process

Initially used:
100ms between decks
Main charge firing first
4 rows

Variations occurred depending on the dip of


the coal

Aim was to reduce the risk shearing of the


coal edge

Need to evaluate:
the extra time for drill and blast
Mine plan changes
Mine process changes

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COAL LOSS BABY DECK

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COAL LOSS BABY DECK

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BABY DECK RESULTS
A variety of options trialled

Little variation in results

Coal loss measured was 8.5%

Reduced coal loss by 33% from


baseline

Increase in loading time was small

Minimal changes in mine plan or


the mining process.

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COAL LOSS - STRATABLAST
Option of Stratablast implemented
to investigate further improvement in
coal loss

Stratablast divides the horizon into


layers that are drilled, loaded and
blasted in one cycle.

Each layer is treated separately with


different powder factors and
timing/movement

Need to evaluate:
the extra time for drill and blast
Mine plan changes
Mine process changes

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COAL LOSS STRATABLAST

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COAL LOSS STRATABLAST

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STRATABLAST RESULTS
Coal loss was reduced to less than 1%;

Dig rates and dozer advance rates were


achieved;

Design variations occurred:


Dip of coal;
Strata changes; and
Product changes.

The following changes in the mining process


were required:
Drill preparation;
Survey control;
Drilling;
Recording;
Area to be blasted (mining block); and
Extra 15% time taken for drill and blast;
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CONCLUSIONS
Drill and blast cost increased by 10% and it took 15% longer.

100,000 tne coal that was previously not recovered as bypass.

Coal loss can be reduced by both methods but need to understand what
and why it is occurring.

Important aspects were:


Training of people;
Feedback to people for good and the areas for improvement;
Maintaining the equipment productivity; and
Compromises along the whole mining process.

Which method?

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