Measurement While Drilling system in Aitik mine

Both Measurement While Drilling (MWD) and image analysis systems are useful tools that today are in use in mining industry. The data interpretation for both systems has been proposed by different studies, but often requiring site specific calibration. Sometimes the interpretation methods used by different researchers are in contrast. This may be caused by variation in geological conditions for each mine site.

In Aitk Mine, the largest open pit copper mine of Europe, both MWD and Image Analysis systems have been installed and the monitored data is saved in databases. Neither of the two systems are today been fully used. In this study, data from selected benches were used to demonstrate the potential of these two systems to predict rock conditions improve the blast design and productivity of the mine.

Two directions of analysis were used to investigate the MWD data. Down-hole analysis used to demonstrate the internal relation between MWD parameters while horizontal analysis was to check the variation of the parameters within the bench. Among the different parameters analyzed, rate of penetration showed the best alternative for interpretation in this case. Meanwhile further research is recommended to prove this phenomenon. The Image Analysis data was used to check the result of the blasting of the bench. The variation of the fragmentation in the bench shows that in the part of the bench were lower penetration rate was measured, larger fragmentation was seen. This variation in rock strength is visible in the crushed material, after passing the primary crusher. In Addition the variation of the coarser grain material was much higher than for the smaller sizes. This indicates that larger sieve sizes should be recommends to verify changes in blast results.

Conclusively, by using the MWD data for blast design, it is possible to reach the ideal blasting and achieve a more uniform fragmentation by adapting an individual hole charging and blast design.

Author: Mozaffari, Shahram

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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