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Conference Proceedings

Underground Operators Conference Proceeding 2023

Conference Proceedings

Underground Operators Conference Proceeding 2023

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Improvement strategies for accurate underground drilling and blasting effectiveness at the Barrick Kibali Gold Mine

This paper highlights strategies used at the Barrick operated Kibali Gold Mine (KGM) to improve the drilling accuracy and blasting effectiveness for longhole open stoping. The mine currently uses Solo DL421 for the required stope drilling and has experienced an average deviation of 10 per cent. Strategies are raised to eliminate or at least mitigate the adverse effects of blasthole deviation and the impact of blasting induced effect at the stope faces including the stope crown. The integration of deviation trends in the design would allow the actual blastholes to be established within their required positions to then facilitate a proper energy distribution with the eventual production blasting. The implementation of stope undercutting reduces the hole length from 35 m to 30 m which in return decreases blasthole deviation by 3 per cent. Another strategy adopted to improve the drilling accuracy is to slow down the penetration rate with the use of several operating approaches, including 135 MPa percussion pressure, 65 rev/sec rotation speed and 17 MPa feed pressure. To this penetration rate, a constant k factor is applied to increase the rate when the bedding inclination is less than 45° from the horizontal or when the hole length is under 10 m. This reduces deviation by a further 4 per cent. Where the rock mass is highly jointed it is advised to use the average penetration rate over the entire length of the hole. Furthermore, the paper shows the effect of deviation on the blasting results through a prediction of fragmentation blasting model optimised with reduced deviation and highlights the effect of presplit mining and timing delay on the blasting effectiveness. Although the size pattern increases with deviation, a strategy pertaining to timing delay with blasting would be to align to the work of Grant (1990) where the optimum hole to hole delay is found to be between 7–10 ms/m of spacing, while the optimum delay between adjacent ring varied between 110–160 ms. Stabilisation of crowns and wings will perform with the implementation of presplit blasting.
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  • Improvement strategies for accurate underground drilling and blasting effectiveness at the Barrick Kibali Gold Mine
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  • Published: 2023
  • Pages: 12
  • PDF Size: 0.774 Mb.
  • Unique ID: P-03006-Z0P7J0

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