Comparative Analysis on the Performance of Non-Electronic and Electronic Initiation Systems on Fragmentation Distribution at Gold Fields Ghana Limited-Tarkwa Gold Mine
Keywords:initiation, non-electronic, pyrotechnic,, rock, fragmentation, Size distribution
The purpose of blasting is to reduce rock mass to acceptable sizes suitable for load and haul operations to satisfy primary crusher requirement. The crusher settings of Gold Fields Ghana Limited require that about 80 percent of every muckpile be less than the size of 240 mm to enable free flow of materials in the crusher. Initiating blast at Gold Fields Ghana Limited is done by the shock tube non-electronic (NONEL) initiation system as well as the electronic initiation system. As a result of findings from previous studies the shock tube non-electronic system is used more often while the electronic initiation system is used at sensitive areas of the mine specifically the Atuabo pit. However, no detailed current study has been carried out to determine which of these initiation systems is more efficient in terms of the cut-off sieve size of the crushing plant. This paper compares the percentage fragmentation sizes of the blasts produced by the initiations systems used at the mine to determine which of the initiation methods produces 80 percent of the muckpile being less than the size of 240 mm; keeping every parameter related to fragmentation constant. The results obtained reveal that initiating with the electronic system increases the percentage of the required sizes above the 80 percent benchmark. About 33.33% of blast initiated by the NONEL system were below the 80 percent. The achievement by the electronic initiation system could be attributed to the higher precision and accuracy of the electronic detonators.
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