Wall control blasting practices at the EkatiTM diamond mine

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 94, No. 1050, 2001

J. Peterson, D.D. Tannant, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta J. Todd, BHP Diamonds Inc., Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

A review of blast designs and improved blasting practices at the EkatiTM diamond mine is presented along with the results of three blast-monitoring experiments. Blast monitoring was undertaken to investigate blast damage mechanisms in the mineƕs well jointed rock mass. Rock mass damage caused by production, pre-shear and wall control blasts was measured. EkatiTM uses 270 mm holes for production blasting, and 165 mm holes loaded with a decoupled charge for pre-shearing. The production blasts are loaded with bulk emulsion/ANFO blends. The mine plan involves using 30 m double benches. A 30 m high pre-shear is drilled and blasted prior to the production blasting that is done with sequential 15 m benches. This paper summarizes the monitoring equipment and data gathered to date.
Keywords: Ekati, Blast monitoring, Blast designs, Rock mass damage, Production blasting.