LONG HOLE BLASTING PRACTICES IN A NARROW VEIN DEPOSIT – EXPERIENCE FROM AGNICO-EAGLE’S LAPA MINE

World Mining Congress
In most instances, the preferred mining methods in steeply dipping narrow vein deposits are selective methods such as cut and fill or shrinkage. The main advantage of these methods lies in the higher degree of control over dilution that can be achieved. However, where ore body geometry lends itself to it, high yield bulk methods can also be attractive. Higher productivity (and the associated lower costs) and lower worker exposure are some of the significant advantages that have made such methods so popular. The Lapa gold mine located in North-Western Quebec uses the long hole mining method (with cemented rock fill) very successfully despite challenging ground conditions. This paper focuses on the experience of the mine with regards to drilling and blasting practices. Firstly, the reasons that prompted the selection of this mining method at Lapa are examined. Secondly, the challenges that the difficult ground conditions found at Lapa pose to drilling and blasting are discussed. Finally, the results of trials of different drilling and blasting strategies that were performed at the mine are presented with particular emphasis on the lessons learned.
Keywords: stopes; stope; Mine; Mines; Drilling; blasting; Ore;
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