Blasting is a core activity in mining and impacts downstream operational activities such as excavation, transport and processing. Software for use in blasting, particularly blast design, has been available for many years but it has not been readily accessible to an average blaster in the field. Integrated tools for blast design, data collection and performance analysis have been largely missing from the industry.
MineExcellence provides an integrated cloud and mobile based technology platform for blasting. It enables an average blaster to not only design blasts but also anlayze how it is performing and cater for adverse impacts commonly seen during blasting such as vibrations, flyrock etc. This platform is a significant innovation since it puts high quality drill and blasting intelligence in the hands of an average blaster, supervisors and senior mine management. It is accessible anywhere, anytime via a SaaS and mobile based enterprise platform. This platform has been used by a number of Tier-1 miners quite successfully for some time.
Key aspects of the platform include:
- Cater for Blast Lifecycle: The platform caters for blast lifecycle (blast design, blast data collection, analysis, predictors / optimizers (vibration, fragmentation, flyrocks etc).
- Users: A number of large tier-1 miners (and small miners too) are using this platform centrally cross all of their mines. Multi Tenancy makes this platform extremely flexible and hence is being used by a number of large blasting contractors and their clients.
- Flexibility: Software-as-a Service (SaaS) means anyone can access it anytime from anywhere without the need for infrastructure (servers, computers). Smart Blasting Mobile app is integrated with the online platform and provides ability to capture detailed blast information and do analysis in the field including capturing GPS locations, date/time, photographs and video etc. Currently apps available in the market only provide information but do not let an average blaster do a lot. This app solves that problem and it also works in an offline mode.
- Blast Performance Analysis: Systematic storage, retrieval and analysis of blasting data allows users to determine how blasts are performing. Industry has typically only concentrated on blast design but the analysis of how blasts are performing and appropriate actions has typically been missing.
- Improved Blasting: This platform enables blasting personnel to vary critical parameters such as dilution, vibration, fragmentation, fly rock and fines generation. It is expected that in due course this will result in significant productivity gains. It is also a move towards safer blasting to factor in vibration and flyrock prior to a blast.
- Cost Optimization: It is possible to capture explosive and manpower and associated costs during blasting to report and analyze.
- Blaster’s Management Portal: The blaster’s management portal provides visibility to central mine management and blasting supervisors cross all the mines in a large organization from the same central system. It enables assessment / comparison across all mines for important parameters (powder factor, costs, production etc).
The mining industry is cautious in adopting technology innovations. The widespread successful adoption of a SaaS and mobile based model for technology for blasting is a global first and is the trend of the future. AMC has supported and encouraged MineExcellence to further develop this technology and the necessary technical support. A number of large miners have successfully implemented and supported this system across multiple mine sites. We believe that the MineExcellence platform will be a significant aid to miners in improving overall mine to mill productivity.
Chairman Emeritus / Principal Mining Consultant