Blasting plays a major role in the fragmentation of rock in open pit mining, which is then crushed and processed before the final product is obtained. Tailoring the blasting method to suit rock mass characteristics can lead to significant improvements downstream. Mine to Mill is a methodology developed at the JKMRC, University of Queensland, which takes a holistic approach to optimising mining operations by characterising the rock mass to be blasted and improving the fragmentation of rock upfront using optimised blasting methods as a means of improving mill throughput and reducing specific energy consumption. This paper provides a case study of the implementation of Mine to Mill at Norton Gold Fields’ Paddington operation, where the use of optimised blast designs resulted in a significant increase in mill throughput and a reduction in specific energy.
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