Blasthole Drill Data Improves Blasting, Excavating, and Crushing
Analyzing measurements while drilling (MWD) for high-resolution hardness models is a step-change improvement for production.
"About 80% of mining failures, of not getting what we expected in projects, comes from one very specific thing: our limited understanding of what exactly is in the ground and where".
Roussos Dimitrakopoulos, McGill University, Stochastic Optimization
DataCloud calculates a bench's blastability, diggability, and crushability from MWD to give teams a fighting chance against their ever-changing lithology. Providing this advanced orebody knowledge at the right time helps blasting crews achieve optimal fragmentation profiles, eliminates downtime during excavating, and steadies the crusher.
Why We Use MWD
A blasthole drill's dataset possesses the most up-to-date intelligence of the bench's boundaries and hardness. Your Sandvik DRs, Cat MDs, P&H 77s, and others are full of tightly spaced, down-the-hole measurements. The raw data can help gain a granular understanding of the ore's properties.
Unfortunately, MWD are collected to monitor the drill, not your ore. And the sheer volume of data is overwhelming to handle. Thus, accessing the data source alone is not enough. Teams may have given up on using MWD data, because of calibration issues, cross-vendor incompatibilities, or general neglect.
Enter DataCloud. An example of this data analyzed and visualized by our software, MinePortal, is above.
How We Process MWD
MinePortal innovatively processes the data after drilling but delivers the insights before blasting. Teams utilize the rock intel in real-time to make a significant impact at the mill. A few of those processes are below:
Data Integration: we integrate and normalize cross-vendor MWD data sources like CAT, Flanders, Modular, Hexagon and more
Data Science: organize and clean the data to eliminate outliers and increase accuracy - and - automate data analysis on all new incoming data
Machine Learning: run complex algorithms to transform the data into proxies for rock mechanical properties (blastability, diggability, and crushability)
Cloud Computing: real-time data analyzations on a shared platform for continuous improvement and high visibility of operations for all departments
If the mine adapts its plans according to our advanced orebody knowledge, each department can achieve optimal performance without added tedious data tasks.
What We Deliver From MWD
This particular solution where our software, MinePortal, calculates hardness from MWD is called Blast Intelligence
. During the processing of the blasthole data, we calculate the following predictive indexes:
Blastability: Tailor explosives loading based on down-the-hole rock hardness, monitor the blast results to gauge downstream implications, and predict blastability of the next bench below.
Diggability: Anticipate and plan for optimal digging based on drill and blast data. We use dig rates as a key performance indicator (KPI) to measure overspend and over blasting or underspend and under blasting that's costing more downstream.
Crushability: Anticipate and plan for optimal crusher performance based on rock hardness. We use crusher amps as a KPI to reconcile predictions. MinePortal shows your team if your alterations performed well, performed poorly, or were worth the cost of change.
MinePortal informs drill and blast crews how to handle the bench's profile and tells fleet and mill crews what to expect. Then, once each department has finished performing, planned versus actuals are reconciled and looped back into MinePortal for continuous improvement.
Most importantly, your crew is equipped with digital tools that help them know the rock, know their operations, and know the best next step. As a result, they can adapt plans quickly and make data-driven decisions that will drastically improve production efficiency.
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