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The Use of Drones in the Planning, Optimisation and Execution of Blasts

Drones have found many exciting uses in various industries, but have only recently seen action in the opencast mining sector. As a company at the forefront of innovation, BME has mastered the art of utilising drones at all their blasting sites, capturing data for the planning, monitoring, execution and analysis of blasts.

Drones are highly versatile vehicles for gathering data from difficult vantage points; using high resolution cameras on their drones, BME captures aerial footage before, during and after blasts – which provides invaluable information about rock behaviour and movement.

Initial data collected by drones can help plan and optimise blasts – ensuring, for instance, that the blast holes are correctly positioned for optimal blast results. Discrepancies between a blast hole’s actual position and its position as indicated by survey data, blast timing can be adjusted to account for this factor.

During blast planning, survey data is imported into BME’s market-leading software Blastmap III and its AXXIS electronic blast system to optimise the blast design, firing sequences, timing and charge distribution.

Precise data can be collected and aligned to exact GPS coordinates and aerial survey data. This information can then be utilised to generate three-dimensional images of the blast face, by combining aerial footage with footage taken with cameras on the ground. After a blast , drones can be used to analyse the dispersal of rock fragments (fine and coarse), quantifying data in a way that improves analysis and refines future blasts – to achieve finer fragmentation, higher digging rates and reduced power consumption in mine crusher circuits.

Apps in Blast Management

By introducing drones on opencast blasting sites, BME has leveraged yet another technology in the service of quality blasting – reducing guesswork and human error to further optimise blast results and mine efficiency.

BME is your global blasting partner.

For more information, contact us on 011 709 8765