Reducing dilution at Pine Cove Mine by accounting for blast movement

2019

Jordan Cramm, Anaconda Mining; Gordana Slepcev, Anaconda Mining; Harrison Ingham, Blast Movement Technologies

With a goal to become an intermediate gold producer, Anaconda Mining continually researches and implements technologies that improve mining operations efficiency and sustainability. Anaconda Mining operates the Pine Cove Gold Mine and Mill located in Newfoundland. Gold mineralization is hosted within quartz veins, dipping gently to the north with an east-west strike. Blasting occurs on 6 m benches and excavators selectively mine small ore pockets in a single pass.   Narrow ore zones presented challenges to mine operations. The ore polygons, some as small as two blast holes wide, were being entirely displaced from their in situ location by blast movement. Dilution, up to 20%, was affecting grades and ore production in 2014. The ore control team identified blast movement as the cause of the dilution. After researching a range of visual methods, Anaconda trialled and then implemented a blast movement monitoring process that accurately measured blast movement and adjusted post-blast ore blocks and dig lines. This paper presents the initial findings from the trial and the long-term improvements. Implementing blast movement monitoring decreased overall dilution from 20% in 2014 to less than 5% today, which increased overall recovered tonnes, reduced tailings production and the overall project footprint.
Keywords: dilution, blast movement, increase ore recovery, narrow ore zones
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