As can be seen from the recorded evidence (graph 6), it is obvious that the BCU requires fewer interventions when compared to the CCU system. The intervention rate can directly be coupled to the lost blast rate. The reason being that an intervention is usually the follow-up action after a lost blast was incurred. This reduction in intervention rate will automatically translate into a cost benefit to the mine in that fewer personnel are required, or the current personnel can be used to attend to other priorities.
With the AEL Quickshot™ BCU system, mines have the flexibility to control auxiliary services such as compressed air, power and water from surface. The benefit of this function is that the control room on the mine can switch off these services during peak hours, usually when blasting takes place between 18:00 and 20:00. With the ability to control services from surface, the mine can isolate specific sections underground or all production sections, for instance, over long weekends or the Christmas break. Not only can the mine reduce its power consumption significantly, but also improve its energy efficiency (GJ/oz) and reduce its carbon footprint in the process.
A detailed record of the CBS costs at the mine is being kept in order to measure the impact of changes to the customer. The costs include the salary of the blasting technician, purchasing of new equipment, repairs, transport costs, software cost and license fees. Consumables like Electronic starters and Fly-leads and extenders are also tracked as part of the operating cost reflected as part of explosive cost in the mine overseers' budget.
Currently AEL Quickshot™ BCU system is operating at 44% less than the CCU system due to fewer repairs being necessary.
As shown in this case study, there are proven results using the AEL Centralised Blasting System. The AEL Quickshot™ BCU system adds value to the customer's bottom line in all the expected areas. With further demonstration of these benefits not only in narrow reef mining, but also in shallower bord and pillar operations in platinum mining, the mining industry will soon be insisting on the widespread use of the BCU Centralised Blasting System.