The Evolution of Open-Pit Drilling and Blasting Practices at the Normandie Mine

With the emphasis in the past decade on larger and more efficient equipment for open-pit operations, the Normandie mine of the Asbestos Corporation has followed the trend, switching from the smaller type of percussion drills to down-the-hole rigs. One 5 Y2 -in. percussion drill is still in use, but is limited to a "smooth blasting" role or to the control of the slope on final benches. In keeping with the times, an attempt was made to eliminate, as much as possible, the use of high explosives and to maximize the percentage of ammonium nitrate - fuel oil mixture. As the concentration of ground water increased with increased mining depths, small pumps were initially employed for the dewatering of boreholes. This proved unsuccessful, and a hole-blowing rig was built and a conversion to plastic liners made. The acquisition of a bulk-mix AN-FO truck has permitted the changeover from an AN premix to an ammonium nitrate prill - fuel oil combination at the borehole.
Keywords: ammonium nitrate, fuel oil, open pit, percussion, rotary screw compressor, blasting, Drill, Drills, Explosives, Liner, liners, Mine, Mines
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