Predicting the penetration rate of percussive blasthole drills using coarseness index and median particle size

Abstract Percussion drilling equipment is widely used in quarries and construction sites. Having some prior knowledge of the potential performance of the selected rock drilling equipment is very important in rock excavation projects for planning and cost estimation purposes. Many investigators have tried to correlate drillability and various mechanical rock properties. However, to date there is no correlation between drillability and the coarseness index (CI) or median particle size (MPS) value. In this study, the relations between the penetration rate of percussive drills and both CI and MPS values were investigated. CI is a
non-dimensional number, being the sum of cumulative weight percentages that are oversize in a particular sizegraded
sample of debris. In the calculation of CI, a drillcutting sample is sized in a set of sieves and the cumulative weight percentage of each size fraction is determined. The sum of cumulative weight percentages is defined as CI. There are several methods of recording the results of sieve analysis and extracting an average size of particle distribution. The plot of cumulative undersize (or
oversize) versus particle size on a logarithmic scale is the most common method. MPS is obtained from this plot and defined as the particle for which the quantity of particles equals 50% of the total of the cumulative distribution.

Hydraulic top hammers, pneumatic top hammers, and down-the-hole drills were observed in several rock types at quarries and highway construction sites for the performance data. Drill rig type, bit type and diameter, hole length, feed pressure, rotation pressure, blow pressure, air pressure, net drilling time, etc. were recorded during performance studies. Four cases using hydraulic top hammer drills, one case using pneumatic top hammer drills, and three cases using down-the-hole drills were studied. Net penetration rates were then calculated from performance data. During the performance studies, drill cuttings from each drill hole were collected for the determination of CI and MPS values. In the sieve analysis, two different sieve series
were used to suit drill cuttings. The first series was selected
as 16.00 mm, 8.00 mm, 4.00 mm, 2.00 mm, 1.00 mm, and 0.50 mm, and the second series as 8.00 mm, 4.00 mm, 2.00 mm, 1.00 mm, 0.50 mm, and 0.25 mm. Collected drill cuttings were reduced using the quartering method. The sieves were stacked on a sieve shaker and a sieving time of five minutes per sample was adopted. After each sieving was completed, the particles remaining on each sieve were weighed. Percentage weights, cumulative weights percentage that are oversize and undersize of the particles, were calculated from the results of the sieve analysis for each sample. The sum of cumulative weight percentages oversize was taken as the CI value. The graphs of cumulative undersize vs particle size on a logarithmic scale were plotted for each sample and MPS values were extracted from
these graphs. The penetration rates of the drills, CI values,
and MPS values were analyzed using the least square regression method. The equation of the best-fit line, the 95% confidence limits, and the correlation coefficient (r) were determined for each regression. It was found that there are usually strong linear relationships between penetration rates and CI values, and penetration rates and MPS values, i.e. the higher the CI and MPS values, the higher the penetration rate. A plot indicating the relation between penetration rate and CI value for a hydraulic top hammer drill (case 1) is shown in the figure.

It was shown that CI and MPS values strongly correlate with penetration rates of percussive drills. Therefore, CI and MPS may be a representative measure of penetration rate of percussive drills.
Keywords: Percussive drills, Penetration rate, Coarseness index, Median particle size, Statistical analysis.
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Summary: The annual budget for the repair and maintenance of equipment at Syncrude Canada Ltd. is in excess of 450 million dollars. Of this amount, a significant portion can be attributed to the loss of material on various pieces of equipment throughout the operation. In order to effectively battle the different wear and corrosion mechanisms that lead to material loss, it is important to understand how materials behave in the environments in which they are used. Since the start of production in 1978,...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): M. Anderson, S. Chiovelli, S. Hoskins
Keywords: Reliability, Productivity, Wear, Maintenance, Syncrude
Issue: 1083
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: LKAB’s Kiruna mine is a large-scale sublevel caving iron operation, located in northern Sweden. Sublevel caving leaves intrinsically no support between the undercut hangingwall and the footwall, so that the hangingwall deforms, fractures, and then caves.The limits of the deformation, fracture, and caving zones widens as the mine deepens.

LKAB has made significant efforts to monitor the deformation zone and predict when it will reach the town of Kiruna, which is located on the hangingwall...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): E. Henry, C. Mayer, H. Rott
Keywords: Interferometry, InSAR, Kiruna, Mining, Subsidence, SAR, Satellite
Issue: 1083
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: Introduction

A campaign during the greater part of 2001 at Noranda’s Brunswick mine concentrator investigated the role of gas (air) distribution to the cells in the final Zn cleaning stage. Air-flow was measured as the superficial gas rate (Jg, i.e. the volumetric flow rate per unit cell crosssection) using the Jg sensor designed by the McGill mineral processing group. The distribution is referred to as the “Jg profile.” The final stage comprises two parallel banks of seven Denver DR 100...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): M. Cooper, D. Scott, R. Dahlke, J.A. Finch, C.O. Gomez
Keywords: Air distribution, Profiles, Flotation circuit, Sensors, Brunswick mine
Issue: 1083
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: In 2000, CANMET-MMSL was engaged by the Ontario Ministry of Labour (OMOL) to conduct a study of the practices, in several key mining jurisdictions, of determining the criteria that are used to decide when the wire ropes used in mine hoisting are to be retired from service. Subsequently, the author visited key officials and institutions in North America, Europe, and Africa. Material from Australia was also included.

The report that resulted included, among other sections: (1) the history of...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): J.E. Udd
Keywords: Wire ropes, Testing techniques, Mine hoisting
Issue: 1083
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: Agnico-Eagle, LaRonde Division, operates the deepest single-lift shaft in North America. Its Penna shaft successfully introduced lower rope safety factor hoists to Canada based on a code of practice developed in South Africa.

End loads permitted on hoisting ropes are legislated and fall into two broad categories. Rope selection can be based on fixed factors, such as a capacity factor of 7.5 and a safety factor of 5.0, or based on a formula where the factor depends on the suspended rope...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): B. McLaughlin
Keywords: Hoisting, Deep shaft, Safety, Regulations
Issue: 1083
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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Summary: A fuel cell mine production locomotive has been designed and tested in the context of a number of mining proof-of-concept projects. The mining industry is poised to take advantage of the benefits of fuel cells to address pressing issues such as underground air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and operating costs.

The locomotive’s simple electric-powered motor and controller system was ideal to study hydrogen power plant operation, underground use, risk and regulatory requirements,...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): M.C. Bétournay, G. Desrivières, P. Laliberté, J. Chan, B. Replogle, A.R. Miller, D.L. Barnes, H. Bursey, D. Sprott, T. MacKinnon
Keywords: Design, Testing, Fuel cell, Production locomotive
Issue: 1083
Volume: 97
Year: 2004
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