Systems such as Davey Bickford’s Daveytronic® SP blast initiation system and electronic detonators have been an integral part of drill and blast activities in Australia for over a decade, with the significant benefits of electronic blasting well documented. Since 2010 the Multiblast feature has been commercially available, which enables eight individual blast patterns (up to 1500 detonators each) to be blasted in the same firing window. Synchroblast has been in active operation since 2012, which allows a blast of up to 4500 detonators – either as a single blast pattern, or several smaller adjacent blast patterns – to be reliably initiated.
Multiblast manages blasts separately but concurrently, allowing all blasts to conduct prefiring checks simultaneously from the firing point utilising only one remote blasting unit. Each blast can be selected and fired individually, in a sequence determined by the operator by scrolling through the colour display. Synchroblast automatically detects the blasting configuration, and manages all detonators as a single blast pattern. This simplifies the design and blasting processes for the mining operation.
Multiblast and Synchroblast are routinely employed throughout Australia and globally in both open cut and underground operations, enabling optimal productivity due to increased blast volume and reduced operational downtime associated with blasting events.
A number of case studies will be presented in this paper, detailing various mining operations that are consistently blasting in excess of 2500 detonators per blasting event as a part of standard drill and blast operations. Blasts over 3000 detonators are becoming more frequent as mine planning departments adapt to this operational capability and flexibility.
Wyartt, G, 2017. Multi and Synchroblasting – maximising operational productivity, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 631–634 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).