APPLICATION: Copper mine
LOCATION: Mufulira - Zambia
PRODUCT: AEL Electronic Detonators
Copper Mine Meets Production Targets and Lowers Costs by 50%
For close to 18 months, Mufulira mine had struggled to meet its production targets and reduce its mining costs. The mine employed a modified mechanised longhole open stoping method as its primary mining method, which resulted in major problems caused by large boulders in the stopes and excessive secondary blasting.
This mine also needed a resolution to the fragmentation problem to improve production; reduce the frequency and cost of secondary blasting; improvee loader productivity; reduce the amount of blast damage on production and importantly improve unit costs of mining.
The mine converted from shock tube to electronic detonators, which was not an easy decision to make. The product was new to the Zambian market and cost more than the explosives the mine used.
A successful project was implemented. Fragmentation improved dramatically and ore that was historically left behind in the form of large boulders was easily mucked out. In terms of loader productivity, a steady improvement was evident. Further to these improvements, the quality of primary blasting resulted in fewer rings requiring blasting per month, which reduced the mine’s consumption of primary explosives substantially.
These improvements enabled the mine to lower its cost per ton of mining by approximately 50%.