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Wesfarmers Curragh Mine introduced BlastLogic in 2012 to optimise drilling contract resources, providing improved collation and assessment of as-drilled data, a single reference for all drill and blast data, and increased accuracy for charge placement.
The mine covers approximately 12,600 hectares in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, producing around 8.5 mtpa metallurgical coal for export and 3 mtpa steaming coal for domestic consumption. Significant faulting and 4 seams ranging from 1.8 to 6.5 metres thick pose challenges for coal recovery. Drill and blast breaks more than 100 million cubic metres of burden every year.
BlastLogic provided the key to accurate drill and blast for maximising productivity and minimising coal loss.
Creating a single source of data realised immediate benefits. Increased accuracy of charge placement and separation of holes allowed Curragh to get optimum value from its drilling contracts. Correct hole placement and separation is vital for improving wall control. Daily collar accuracy reports help Curragh easily identify holes drilled outside of specification before equipment leaves the area.
Reviewing drillhole depth against modelled surfaces in 3D streamlines assessment and identification of redrills. BlastLogic field tablets save more than 20 hours a week in dip data entry. Updating drill patterns and charge rules on-the-fly keeps the blast crew up to date with variations to the plan.
BlastLogic allows Curragh to optimise explosive products used by reviewing historical data for hole conditions and blast performance. Topography, coal surfaces and videos can be attached to reports.
Curragh now experiences greater consistency across drilling and can monitor daily progress. Curragh can proactivey manage hard dig operations, quickly identify areas of concern and address equipment wear and tear or material loading issues before they become critical. In addition, accurate data helps protect the coal hard cap and toe.
‘With Maptek help on site and support from management we’ve been able to confidently roll out BlastLogic. It is now an integral part of our drill and blast process.’
Near term goals include tighter conformance of the design-implementation-reconciliation process. Taking advantage of the new BlastLogic interval loading tools will help Curragh evaluate and manage through-seam vibration and other sensitive blasts, as well as create an accurate geological database.
‘Access to accurate drilling data provides confidence that the blast design meets desired outcomes.’
Looking ahead, Curragh anticipates that options such as the tie-up tool will provide further improvements for modelling blasts and managing consumables.
Thanks to Peter Rodrigues Wesfarmers Curragh
Extract from paper presented at Maptek Users Conference, Brisbane, 2013