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Case study – Stemming Control

1 - Introduction

Stemming is a key element in the drill and blast process. Is used in order that a high-explosive charge works properly and releases the maximum energy. It also allows the control of airblast and flyrock. Normally, the material used on stemming is drill cuttings.

Fig. 1 – O-Pitblast Borehole information (Stemming)

2 - Objectives

The main objective that O-Pitblast wanted to overcome was relative to safety. The reduction of flyrock and of the exclusion zone were the main objectives. Also, the improvement of explosive energy was a proposal to be treated during all the process.

Fig. 2 – Problem identification

3 - Proposed solution

The process evolved some improvements to be applied during the weeks that O-Pitblast was on the field.

Three main procedures were taken:

• Theoretical Training;

• Field Practices;

• Field Control with O-PitApp.

The use of the App allowed to control the loading, identify re-drills, identify cavities, recognize operations issues and potential flyrocks.

4 - Client gains

4.1 - Main gains

After the application of the solution proposed by O-Pitblast the client could reduce the flyrock, as shown in the pictures below.

Fig. 3 - Blast comparison: after O-Pitblast solution (on the left) and before O-Pitblast solution (on the right)

It also provided that the engineers had access to loading information before the blast, clearance of the adjustment zone and improvement on stemming control.

4.1 - Economic gains

Speaking on economic terms, the client could reduce costs on the operation like specified below.

Reduction of Boulders:

• Avg. 10 boulders/month;

• More than 1.500,00 $ per year;

Reduce overcharge:

• 3kg per hole = 10 cm extra charge length = 3,00 $

• 7000 holes per month = 84 000 holes per year = 252.000,000 $


Francisco Leite

O-Pitblast ®

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