The start of selected blast mining has the possibility to decrease what mining narrow-reef gold costs. Selected blast mining will have such a positive effect on South Africa’s “dead” towns that were once very much alive with mining activity.
So WHAT exactly is selected blast mining you ask? Selected blast mining is basically carried out using shock tubes and delayed detonators and would be equal to a 30% increase in the gold price. Selected blast mining will save Welkom, Carletonville and the East Rand. Because mine roofs are not fractured, selected blast mining dispenses with the need for roof bolting systems. Granting you can’t really do a blast without some shock waves, selected blast mining will mainly be a drum roll rather as appose to a big bang.
So HOW exactly is selected blast mining executed? With a very simple hydraulic ram, the pile of rocks at the back of the stope is compacted to provide support. Only reef will be taken to surface for processing hence the cost elimination of unnecessarily rock transportation. Haulage and grinding costs are reduced by two-thirds with selected blast mining. selected blast mining which allows for almost 100% of the gold to be recovered, would enable the mining industry to depart from its current position of a significant percentage of precious metal failing to find its way into refined gold bar because of reef being widely scattered during blasting. Selected blast mining includes fracturing rock in such a way that the reef remains complete. Selected blast mining could be re-piloted soon and become standard practice across South Africa’s narrow-reef precious metals mines within a year, significantly improving what miners refer to as the mine call factor, which is the difference between the quantity of precious metal in the ground and the actual quantity of precious metal that ends up in refined form. Equipment for AngloGold Ashanti’s “game-changing” technology, which mines “all of the gold, only the gold, all the time, safely”, is under construction, with the first machines scheduled to become available in the first quarter of 2014.