Within open-pit exploitations using blasting, controlling production costs and environmental discomfort is difficult because of productivity variability due to rock-fragmentation issued from the blast and to rock-mass hazards. For quarries, this control is a major stake in order to valorise their product, to use carefully natural resources and to be able to answer to European environmental constraints. The proposed project aims to provide industrial means for monitoring and blasting control in order to optimise the primary production process, including drilling, blasting, loading, haulage and primary crushing, with regard to the impact of fragmentation of blasted rock. Indeed, solving this problem requires, first, to be able to monitor and to quantify continuously the impact of fragmentation on basic operations, and, secondly, to guarantee with blasting the resulting fragmentation which optimises production-flow and minimises costs. This was not possible until now because of the lack of reliable acquisition tools and of suitable techniques to predict fragmentation. New systems for blasting monitoring, the partners did develop and will bring into the project, will enable to address this problem with a new approach based on continuous observation of blasts and their economic and environmental effects. It will then be possible to develop a portable system for decision-support on blasting and operation control based on rules issued from daily practice and specific conditions in each exploitation. This system will include: -) a set of existing acquisition devices, which have never been used together to monitor blasting parameters and productivity of basic operations, -) a rule-base for blasting, specific to each exploitation; -) an overall computer system consisting of a database, a supervision system and an expert-system unit. It will be portable and adaptable to any open-pit operation using blasting as extraction method. The Consortium consist of two quarries (DMD and Calcinor), system end-users, an explosive manufacturer and blasting consultant (NBC), system end-user and R&D performer, a research organisation (Armines), R&D performer specialised among other domains in image processing and artificial intelligence applied to blasting, and an university (MU-Leoben), specialised in computer techniques for open-pit management and supervision.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts