Slightly over a year ago, Maptek introduced BlastLogic, a new drill and blast accuracy management system, at its Australian Users Conference. At the time of introduction, Maptek described it as a tool that could be used to increase drill and blast accuracy by harnessing automated validation and design tools with an intuitive 3-D interface.
BlastLogic is designed to maintain an historical record of all drilling activity in a single managed location and interfaces with supported third-party drill navigation systems. The product is intended to assist clients in obtaining superior blast accuracy and performance through intelligent blast design, made possible by fusing the distinct data sets associated with mine planning, drill guidance, field survey, load design parameters and post-blast evaluation.
Using BlastLogic, collar location and dimensions are updated automatically from drill rig navigation systems or field survey. Dip, backfill and charge sheets are automatically generated. Ruggedized tablets provide electronic data sharing in the field, extending immediate access to data. Site-defined load design rules are applied across a pattern and can be further refined on a hole-by-hole basis.
According to Maptek, BlastLogic is configured to site-specific parameters. Preferred tolerances and thresholds can be established for the automated validation process, while a library of blast products and charge rules can be defined and maintained.
Mark Roberts, Maptek’s manager of blast accuracy solutions, recently noted that BlastLogic’s capabilities fit well with a critical trend in the mining industry—the need for changes in technology that allow time-poor personnel to complete both complex and routine tasks effortlessly.
Roberts points out that the spatial location of a drill pattern derived from mine planning systems such as Vulcan can be displayed using BlastLogic, along with known in-pit variations such as as-drilled dimensions obtained from high precision drill navigation systems, or hydrographical and fallback data from field surveys.
It provides immediate access to disparate drill and survey data that allows engineers to quickly adapt a blast design to actual conditions in the pit. As a result, blast performance can be optimized along with subsequent downstream processes such as dig rates and process throughput.
Roberts also said that automated functionality embedded in BlastLogic allows users to validate as-drilled holes to design within site-defined parameters. This procedure flags any holes outside of design specification, allowing for quick decisions on re-drill or backfill.
Generation of dip, backfill and charge sheets by user-defined pattern is completed at a click of a button. BlastLogic also calculates the required backfill rate. In the case of a charge sheet, the system determines the placement, type and amount of explosive materials pertinent to the site load design parameters.
Another useful automated feature, according to Roberts, is the time-dependent fallback analysis derived from the collated dipping data in BlastLogic’s SQL database. This enables the optimization of over-drill across a pattern or zones in the pit, given a known lag between drilling and blasting.