AMSJ » MINING HAZARDS » Blasting and Shot firing

Category - Blasting and Shot firing

Blasting and shot firing are essential elements of many mining and quarrying activities. Managing the hazards of blasting is important to ensuring risks to personnel, plant and the environment are managed.

Generally blasting is carried out at mining operations to facilitate the rapid excavation of minerals over overburden material (ground and strata covering the minerals). It is undertaken primarily as a cost-effective means for accessing the ore body or mineral as opposed to traditional excavation using machinery.

Hazards or blasting can be diverse and dependent on the blast area, the ore being blasted and the environmental conditions that exist at the blast site (and on the day of the blast).

Highly trained shotfirers are cognisant of blasting hazards including fly rock travelling from the blast area, dissipation of energy from blasts to nearby structures (ground vibration), air overpressure, handling of explosives,  environmental contamination of nearby areas from gas/dusts associated with blasts, instability of ground post-blast, segregation of blast areas,

Mining companies have highly specialised procedures and processes for blast design that minimise hazards associated with blasts including (but not limited to:

Designating a competent supervisor for the blast and ensuring they are qualified and competent to undertake the type of blast

Ensuring explosive storage area procedures are defined according to legislative requirements

Defined blast Emergency Procedures

Methods of Detonation

Signage and Communications (internal and external)

Blasting Signals

Methods for the Transportation of Explosives

Methods for the Loading of Explosives

Implementation of Firing Procedures

Inspection Procedures

Misfire Procedures


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