In 2010 Agnew Gold Mine (AGM) struggled to produce the required tonnages from its stopes. The longhole rises used to create void in stopes were unreliable and often failed to gain the designed rise height. The number of firings per stope was having an adverse impact on the ground conditions at the stope brows, impeding stope productivity.
Through practical experimentation with longhole drill rigs, box hole rigs and development drill rigs as well as trialling new methods in conjunction with reviewing drill hole data, drill hole accuracy was observed to be an issue on-site. Innovative dragging methods such as the reverse drag, combined with a slope instead of a vertical face on the rear of stopes, have improved dragging and a reduction of firings per stope, enabling larger production blasts.
The methods trialled and subsequently implemented at AGM
have facilitated the mine achieving budgeted targets for six consecutive
quarters. This paper documents the use of these methods in a key lode of AGM’s
operations to improve drill and blast practices in order to achieve production
Carter, T A, 2014. Improving
production drilling and blasting in the Kim South orebody at Agnew Gold Mine, in
Proceedings 12th AusIMM Underground Operators’ Conference 2014 , pp 251–258 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).