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Alpine gold mine generates US$30,600 additional profit in one blast

Russia Alpine Gold Mine

Commodity Ore Grade Geology Powder Factor Location
Gold Low Structured 0.8 kg/m3  Eastern Russia

Located in mountainous eastern Russia, this gold mine operates in sub-zero temperatures for most of the year. The large open-pit operation is one of the country’s top producing gold mines.

  • Gold mineralisation occurs in complex ore bodies of sulphide sandstones and syenite porphyry
  • Blasts are fired in 5 – 6 metre benches and mined in a single pass
  • The site contains low grade ore deposits in multiple pits

Challenges

Dilution and ore loss in low grade deposits
  • Highly variable blast movement was causing significant dilution and ore loss
  • Variation in powder factors created additional variation in blast movement
  • Low grade ores required a high level of control to ensure head grade to the processing plant was not diluted

Solution

The BMM System accurately measured variable blast movement and translated post-blast dig lines
  • Blast movement monitors (BMMs) were installed in monitoring holes throughout the shot
  • Installation and detection as per site standard operating procedures
  • BMM Explorer software calculated new dig lines, and areas of ore loss and dilution that would have occurred without monitoring

Results

Reduced dilution and ore loss
Recovered US$33,600 in gold

Blast movement
Significant movement occurs within all blasts. Variation of ±50% from the mean horizontal movement is common, and occurs at this operation. In this blast:

  • Measured horizontal movement ranged from 1.3 to 4 m (4.5 to 13 ft)

Ore loss and dilution
As a result of accurately accounting for movement in this example blast, the mine:

  • Prevented 7% dilution—1,7501 tonnes of waste was diverted from the mill
  • Maximized ore yield—an additional 2,200 tonnes (9%) of ore was sent to the mill
  • Recovered 28 ounces of gold, valued at US$33,6002, that would have been lost

1. Numbers are rounded
2. Calculated at a gold price of US$1,200/oz.

Accounting for blast movement added US$33,600 of value—in one blast

Russia Gold Mine