Authors: Rodríguez, F; Berg, A; Videla, JC; Jamett, N; Morales, D; Castro, R; Arancibia, L

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This paper is hosted with the kind permission of the Universidad de Chile, Eighth International Conference & Exhibition on Mass Mining, 2020.


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Rodríguez, F, Berg, A, Videla, JC, Jamett, N, Morales, D, Castro, R & Arancibia, L 2020, 'Blasting design and drawbell implementation at the Chuquicamata Underground mine', in R Castro, F Báez & K Suzuki (eds), MassMin 2020: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference & Exhibition on Mass Mining, University of Chile, Santiago, pp. 897-909,

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In caving operations, the blasting of drawbells is critical for starting production from drawpoints. The trend in the industry is to blast drawbells in a single phase to avoid exposing personnel to the front and to increase the rate at which drawpoints can be incorporated into production. A review of the current state of the art suggests there is no consensus on how to design a single-phase drawbell blast (SPDB). The Chuquicamata Underground Mine (MCHS) implemented an SPDB using emulsions as the explosive. Before implementation, trials were performed showing good results in relation to fragmentation and final drawbell geometry. The design was implemented at production scale allowing more than 8 drawbells to be incorporated per month. Based on the positive results, guidelines to blast drawbells in a single phase were established and are described in this article.

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