Unbeatable innovation in Blast Hole Quality Control: Precision Mining

February 16, 2024

by Orlando Ramirez, CEO and Founder of Stockholm Precision Tools

Beyond the explosion, have you ever stopped to think about the impact of blasting on the mining production process?

Blast hole quality control is a common challenge for even the most experienced miners in the mining industry. It is not simply a matter of a blast deviating from its intended course; it takes on multiple dimensions that have far-reaching implications, including potential compromises to equipment and personnel safety, as well as long-term operational efficiency.

SPT engineers
SPT engineers use GyroScout™ in open pit blast holes in the South of Spain

Controlled blasting: How blast hole surveying affects mining overall production

Blasting is an essential part of the mining industry, but it comes with inherent challenges that can hinder production operations. Accurate surveys of blast holes are critical to avoid costly secondary shots and ineffective rock fragmentation, which directly impacts the company’s bottom line. Meanwhile, the mining sector contends with stricter environmental regulations, where any inaccuracies in blasting operations can have severe serious legal and environmental consequences.

Nevertheless, the question remains: how can one ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of blasting activities? This is where blast hole surveying becomes essential.

The blast hole surveying process ensures that the execution is in line with the intended design. By pinpointing areas of excessive or insufficient blast energy, this technology optimizes operational efficiency and safeguards against problems such as inadequate fragmentation and potential safety hazards.

SPT: A pioneer in borehole surveying in the global mining industry

Stockholm Precision Tools (SPT) is transforming the concept of precision in this challenging field. GyroScout™ marks a new milestone in the evolution of directional survey tools.

A portable, solid-state Gyro, weighing only 2.4 kg (5.26 lb) and 37.4 inches (95 cm) in length, is designed for blast hole surveying in both underground and surface operations.

Utilizing GyroScout™ could lead to an average decrease of 18% in operational interruptions and a 13% reduction in outflows. This improvement is particularly noteworthy, considering that over 94% of clients who have integrated GyroScout™ have observed a marked enhancement in blasting operation efficiency.

Its implementation not only enhances safety and environmental sustainability compliance but also significantly boosts operational efficiency in mining operations.

The ‘GyroScout™ app’ allows for non-stop survey of blastholes in a daisy chain sequence
The ‘GyroScout™ app’ allows for non-stop survey of blast holes in a daisy chain sequence

Case study: Advanced blasting survey software

SPT operates on a fundamental principle: deploying its developments and upgrades in real-world environments, both to showcase them to clients and to evaluate their efficacy under practical circumstances.

In partnership with Rocha Blast Engineers, we’ve rigorously field-tested the latest GyroScout™ software upgrades, specifically designed for blasting applications. These tests, aimed at enhancing surveys, have identified opportunities to improve performance, productivity, safety, and cost savings.

The successful integration of GyroScout™ and its handheld ‘SPT GyroScout™ app’ upgrades at the Riotinto mine blasting-site underscores a significant achievement. This pioneering mining site, an initiative, spearheaded by Atalaya Mining, a premier European copper producer, blends cutting-edge technological innovations with the rigorous safety and environmental sustainability principles inherent in modern mining practices. Integrating the software resulted in even more precise surveys, ensuring the exact layout of blast holes by verifying each data point collected during the surveys.

‘SPT GyroScout™ app’: The app for non-stop, sequential blast hole survey

With the new GyroScout™ blast hole survey software ‘SPT GyroScout™ app’, it’s now possible to efficiently survey an entire blast hole run in record time. This innovative application enables surveying all the blast holes with one single setup instead of setting up one by one each time. This simple solution allows for a seamless transition between blast holes without interrupting the survey process.

The highly intuitive system uses color coding to indicate to the user whether a blast hole has been previously surveyed, or if a repeat survey is required.

Included is a visualization software designed to make it easy to compare planned and surveyed blast holes. This graphical representation can display all partial blast hole data and simplifies individual analysis of each survey.

The latest GyroScout software enhancements provide customers with a reliable survey database to optimize blasting, reflecting the mining industry’s evolution toward data-driven decision-making. SPT stays true to this philosophy by providing innovative solutions that optimize mining production.

So how often is it recommended to survey blast holes? The answer is clear: blast holes should always be surveyed to ensure superior quality control, minimize risks and control costs.

You can rely on SPT GyroScout™ for high-accuracy data on your blasting operations. Our instrument ensures precision in quality control calculations for blast holes to keep excess dilution, overbreak and re-drilling at bay.

Build a solid and secure data foundation with SPT at your side. Optimize your processes and be ready to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies, including AI, machine learning, and optimize your mining production rate today.

For more information visit: sptab.com or contact: sales@sptab.com