Gomes Sand is a quarry operation that produces sand and aggregate for
the construction industry. The quarry is experiencing inconsistencies in
the fragmentation and poor pit conditions as a result of poor drilling and
blasting practices. This results in excessive downtime in the load and haul
and crushing processes.
A benchmarking exercise of the blasting practices was conducted to
evaluate the effect of the inconsistency on the mining cycle. After changes
in the blasting practices the downtime was reduced, which improved the
crushing plant utilization by 4.9%. The improved blasting practices and
more consistent fragmentation decreased the average number of loads lost
each month due to jaw crusher blockages from 9.2% to 3.9% of plant
throughput. The change in blasting practices also improved pit conditions.