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Atualizado: 26 de jul. de 2021

Geologist from Brazil to future Master in Mining Engineer in Portugal

Who is Bianca?

Hello everyone!

My name is Bianca Saraiva, I’m 27 years old and I am Brazilian-Portuguese from Rio de Janeiro (one of the most beautiful cities in the world 😊).

As a friend told me some time ago when I got my diploma: “Dream big and get to know the world outside”. And here I am…Geologist from Brazil to future Master in Mining Engineer in Portugal.

It is funny to remember how everything has changed in the last few years. That girl who discovered the world through the geological look and obtained her bachelor’s degree at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) - Brazil in 2017 – would not even imagine that after almost 4 years she would be currently living in Porto,Portugal and in the process of completing her Master’s degree in Mining and Geo-Environmental Engineering at FEUP (Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto).

Quarry on Porto-while in FEUP | University of Porto | On the field in Brazil

Many paths led me to want to be an engineer but I never knew what kind of engineer I wanted to be. Then, after finishing my studies I knew how amazing it would be to benefit from all the geological understanding and use it as a point of view for the conscious exploration of the mineral resources.

How did Bianca know about O-Pitblast, how was her integration?

Last year, during virtual classes, I had the opportunity to know the O-Pitblast company and its entire package with advanced technology that allows to plan, simulate and optimize open-pit mining operations.

What caught my attention was its accessibility and ease of use, providing a broad knowledge beyond the concepts and topics learned in class.

For almost a year I was the person “behind of scenes” of our Support Team trying to offer the best solutions to our clients’ issues all over the world. Besides being a Support Engineer, I supervised the QA&QC effort within O-Pitblast, not only for our current blast design software and its mobile application - O-PitApp – but also our future software under development: O-Pitblast 2.0 and an underground software.

Today I can say that my work in this company has been a great opportunity and enabled me to improve my skills related to rock blasting and their optimization processes. I had the opportunity to understand the needs of engineers who work in open-pit mines and quarries and how we could improve their field work through our services. This experience also put me in contact with major O-Pitblast partner companies and made me grow both professionally and personally by dealing with different situations.

In addition to all these experiences, I have been learning, together with the Technical Service Team how to do research on mining, to gain knowledge on the most varied issues that can happen - before, during and after - rock blasting, how we can avoid some of them and what kind of consulting services we as Mining Engineers can offer to the industry. Together with another mining engineer, I participated in a field training and I was able to help him understand how our probe – O-PitDev - works in the field and how its use is important to verify the behavior (water presence, length, etc.) and deviation of

planned blastholes before the blasting.

O-PitDev - Borehole Deviation Measurement System

Thinking about what’s best for the mining engineers and how we could help them in some way, we created our Red Pocket Guide, with all the essentials for the execution of a great blast operation - it contains a summary of the main things that should be taken into consideration in relation to blast design, angular faced holes, rules of thumb, pre-split blasting, smooth blasting, perimeter control, air blast, ground vibrations, safety distances, fragmentation model, loading density, conversion table and properties of rock masses.

Moreover, it has been an amazing experience to be part of this group that made it possible to meet so many incredible people since I started working here. And it is incredible how the company gives us the ability to exchange roles within the company. For example, one year ago I was the person who was attending an O-Pitblast software class and this year I was the person who taught the class. Nowadays I have the role of Executive Account, in addition to being involved in the development of a blaster course with my colleagues and doing my thesis in a business environment. On my thesis, I will analyze the “blastability index”

which means, in other words, the capability or the resistance of a rock mass to blast loads and how the main geological and geotechnical factors control and influence the mechanisms of rock fragmentation. I can explain this a little bit better on my next post 😊

If you are interested in getting to know more about O-Pitblast and our solutions, you can always contact me:


Geologist and Mining Engineer Trainee

+351 934 703 487

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