Drive stability is critical in block/panel cave mining. The production levels of these mines are required to remain operational for the entire life-of-mine which can be in excess of 30 years. It is therefore necessary to produce high-quality drives to ensure sustainable mine productivity. In order to improve the quality of drives and pillars, this gold mine instigated a project to optimise their development blasting. The initial aim was to reduce the level of overbreak in development mining, which was averaging approximately 18 per cent. The benefits of controlling overbreak not only included an increase in the integrity of the drives but also a decrease in load and haul and ground support costs. Through focusing on the optimal blasting of the perimeter holes, overbreak was reduced to 4.5 per cent. The project's focus then moved to drill and charge designs for development faces. In optimising these designs, it was anticipated that improvements in the development mining cycle would be achievable.
Klaric, P, 2015. Improving drive stability through efficient development blasting design and practices, in Proceedings 11th International Symposium on Rock Fragmentation by Blasting, pp 327–332 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).