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Perimeter Control Utilising Electronic Detonators at Mount Wright Mine


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Author J Wall and L Bottomley


The use of electronic detonators in civil tunnelling applications, to reduce vibration in small firings has been successfully utilised for a number of years. As part of the mining industry’s commitment to reducing blast damage during the development cycle in underground mining applications, a series of development blasts using e-Dev™ electronic detonators in a typical mining application was conducted at Resolute’s Mt Wright operations in North Queensland in 2010.

Results were based on direct comparisons to the current industry standard of non-electric firings as a baseline, with as many parameters as possible being captured during the trial. Development costs are typically high in most underground mines, especially in capital development headings, which are in waste and therefore of no direct economic value, so by being able to accurately fire to design, costs relating to both ground support requirements and volume of material removed, (and therefore haulage required) can be minimised.

A direct comparison of overbreak (ground blasted outside of design) and cast (distance rock thrown from blast) was also made during the trial, as well as close monitoring of the drilling accuracy.

Wall, J and
Bottomley, L, 2011. Perimeter
control utilising electronic detonators at Mount Wright Mine, in Proceedings 11th AusIMM Underground Operators’

pp 159-166 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy: Melbourne).