WorldWide Drilling Resource

18 MARCH 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® An Overview of Blasting Equipment, Methods, and Tools Adapted from Information by Global Road Technology A wide variety of tools and equipment are required for drilling and blasting. Traditionally, explosives were initiated by a fuse and ignitor cord which had a known range of burning speed, allowing miners to time the sequence of detonation of individual charges. This took place with very low accuracy. The latest technology in blast initiation uses a radio-controlled remote blast initiation system with a digitally encoded signal. These tools have the capability to initiate nonelectric shock tubes, as well as standard electric blasting caps. There are various types of detonators. Instantaneous and delayed electric detonators have been used for many years. They may be initiated by electric current from complex, main firing devices or from small portable devices called shot exploders. Modern methods of initiation blasting use shock tubes, which are nonelectric detonators capable of extremely accurate timing. Condenser blasting machines fire medium- and high-power detonators in a series. A NONEL® STARTER is an advanced electronic firing device for firing nonelectric detonators. Electronic firing systems offer detonator firing and electronic programming for complex, high-quality surface, underground, or demolition blasting operations. Tampers are used for placing charges in the drilled holes. Regulat ions and requirements for drilling and blasting are constantly changing as technology evolves. Measuring equipment employed before and after drilling and blasting is also catching the wave of change to the benefit of safety, health, and risk management. Before drilling takes place, there must be support tools for the firing and drilling plan design. Laser rock profiling systems are measuring devices which perform 3D rock face profiling to determine geometry and blasthole burdens, thus reducing incidents of flyrock, air blast, and excessive vibration. Laser profilers are also utilized to calculate theoretical distances for the face hole and drilling angles. After drilling, the measuring devices used offer a precise, quick means of checking the real deviation of the mining holes used before setting charges, which enables any firing incidents to be avoided. Laser profilers are used with software to create hole charge plans quickly and accurately on a hole-by-hole basis or for a whole row. Scattering risks are reduced considerably by using this measuring device. In addition, 3D laser technology provides information on total volume extracted, ore volume excavated, footwall waste dilution, hanging wall waste dilution, volume broken but not extracted (lockup), planned volume but not broken, ore development before stoping, and stope extraction design. The use of digital models contributes to the mining operation’s overall business model. The tools used in drilling and blasting operations contribute immensely to the success of operations. An integrated approach to technology and personnel is ideal. Choice of tools goes hand in hand with occupational health and safety. EXB