After a decade of success with its BLASTMAP™ blast planning software for surface application, Omnia Group company BME has released a version of this innovative solution for underground mining. According to Christiaan Liebenberg, BME’s Software Product Manager, phase 1 of the BLASTMAP™ Underground application caters for tunnelling and shaft designs.
“This software allows the blaster to interact with two-dimensional and three-dimensional views of complex designs – to manage the hole position, drilling angle and dimensional compliance,” said Tinus Strauss, BLASTMAPTM Senior Software Developer. “The hole layout design, which includes body, perimeter, cut, lifter and relief holes, together with timing tools, analysis simulation and prediction, allows engineers to achieve the desired fragmentation, clear sufficient space for exaction and reduce extra breakage by controlling ground vibrations.”
Users can design any block shape and create the required cut design – including the perimeter hole design – and can add costs and quantities to predict blast expense. The software also creates technical reports, hole timing analysis and contouring, and allows users to predict vital aspects of the blast such as vibration and fragmentation. In addition, there is a Direction of Rock Movement feature which indicates the direction that ground will move, according to the firing times and initiation points.
Liebenberg emphasised the valuable time saving achieved by BLASTMAP™ Underground in the design of blasts; what could take two days using manual design methods can now be achieved in three to four hours. The result also leads to better predictability of blast results. “The blast timing and connecting sequence can be displayed and simulated before the blast, helping to ensure that the expected outcomes are achieved,” said Strauss. “The software also plans and tracks the precise volumes of explosive mass to be used per hole, giving the user the ability to improve their management of stock and make each blast more cost-effective.”
BME is also active in global markets outside Africa – including countries like Australia, Canada, Indonesia, and the United States. The BLASTMAP™ Underground software therefore comes with both metric and imperial measurements. For the surface mining market, BLASTMAP™ is offered as a standard package for smaller operations, while BLASTMAP™ Premium for larger mines includes modules that predict fragmentation, vibration, and blasted rock radius. The added modules also cover contouring and through-seam design.
With continuous development of BME’s Blast Alliance software solutions, such as BLASTMAP™ Underground taking place, additional features are constantly being added- in line with identified requirements of users in the field. This ensures continuous value chain optimisation for customers.