Increasing gold prices are encouraging the mining sector to boost their production in hope of enhancing their profits. To make the most of this ‘golden’ opportunity, mining companies are resorting to new mechanisms to both escalate the production volume and to improve the quality of operations.
Optimising mining operations in order to curb costs and to increase net profit is one of the key focus areas today, according to Michael Owusu-Prempeh, Drill & Blast Engineer at AngloGold Ashanti in Ghana, where drilling and blasting forms an integral part of the operations. Poor drilling and blasting activities add to mining costs by increasing the wear and tear on equipment. This in turn increases maintenance costs and decreases the quantity of materials mined through the movement of boulders.
A case study at AngloGold Ashanti – Effective Mechanisms to Improve the Performance of Drilling – Iduapriem Mine, Tarkwa – looks at three main techniques drill and blast engineers can adopt to attain a more effective fragmentation process. The stability, straightness and hole depth to be achieved goes a long way to affect fragmentation hence impacting productivity and crusher throughput. The techniques described by AngloGold Ashanti will give engineers the essential tools to mitigate these challenges and to ensure more accurate drilling to lower costs, save on fuel and reduce maintenance costs. Owusu-Prempeh will be discussing these measures at Drill and Blast Africa Summit next week.