Drill and blast (D&B) is one of the most important production operations in open pit mining. The resulting fragmentation of the D&B reflects in the downstream unit operation. Good fragmentation of the ore will minimise the cost of loading, hauling and crushing. The understanding of the geological model integrated with a software system for bench face surveying and planning of blast layouts based on three-dimensional images can help to achieve the fragmentation goals of the mine operation. A case study integrating these tools was carried out in a large iron mine in Brazil. The iron ore in the study area consists of hard and friable itabirites. More than three different ore types may occur on the same bench. Under these conditions, data integration becomes necessary to improve the results of blasting. A blasting plan was based on the generated geological model. The methodology helps understanding the factors that can interfere in the fragmentation process, allowing defining actions that can improve the blast design in those places that fragmentation wasn’t achieved. This condition is important for a continuous improvement of the drilling and blasting operation. In comparison with the previous blasting carried out at Itabira mine, which did not take into account the geological model, substantial improvements in fragmentation were observed, eliminating the need for secondary blasting.
Schaarsdmit, R, Pablos, I, Koppe, J C, Gabriel, E, Gomes, A and Crispim, P, 2015. Geological modelling and bench face survey to improve blasting fragmentation, in Proceedings 11th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting, pp 401–406 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).