Blast Design and Positioning

I was in Sweden a few weeks ago and was invited to visit Jehander quarry, located northeast of Stockholm. The quarry was interested in evaluating technology, new to their site, with the goal of providing better models for blast design. L5 Navigation, a local positioning company specializing in drilling, mining and construction, was commissioned to demonstrate the blast design solution.

Why Use a Blast Design Solution
In Sweden, it is required by law to determine the burden of the 2 front drill holes before blasting whenever the bench height is over 10 meters. By following the steps below, it is possible to get optimal burden and therefore optimal blasting. The optimized data is compatible with hole navigation systems so its quiet easy for the drill operator to drill a very accurate drill plan design. But whether or not this process is mandated by law, the benefits of safety and return on investment (ROI) are compelling.

The are several companies developing similar solutions and I will list some of them at the end of this article. The system L5 Navigation represents is Geo-Konzept’s blast design solution which features a suite of software and hardware products. The key software products are Quarry Pocket, Blast Manager and QuarryX Pro.

A typical workflow includes the following steps:

  1. Scan the rock surface with Pulsar laser scanner
  2. Measure coordinates with GPS on top of rock where the start and end of the drill pattern should be
  3. Make an optimized drill pattern in QuarryX using the collected data
  4. Transfer the optimized drill pattern to the drill rig
  5. Drill the holes using GPS navigation system on drill rig
  6. Download the IREDES Quality file (as-built) from the drill rig to the field computer running Quarry Pocket software
  7. Probe the holes using Pulsar or Transtronic probe. (Position and hole numbers come from IREDES file)
  8. Transfer the as-built data from field computer to QuarryX office software for report processing

The software suit can also be used for blast planning

The entire series of images with captions to visualize the progress inside the software can be viewed by opening this PDF.

 • Fig 1. Measured and probed holes 3D
 • Fig 2. Planned pattern 3D
 • Fig 3. Planned pattern (optimized) top view
 • Fig 4. Rock face 3D mesh view
 • Fig 5. Rock face 3D lines
 • Fig 6. Rock face with planned holes, not optimized, top view
 • Fig 7. Rock face with planned pattern, automatically optimized, top view
 • Fig 8. Profile view, planned hole
 • Fig 9. Profile view, as built hole


As illustrated in the full size PDF, the 3D model is greatly enhanced by merging the data from the GPS rover, the probe and the laser scanner. This analysis facilitates an optimized blasting strategy.

Benefits of Profiling

  • Increased safety through eradication of fly rock incidents
  • Reduction in costs associated with poor quality fragmentation which include:
    • Increased secondary breakage
    • Excessive use of explosives
    • Wear on equipment

3D positioning for drill rigs and other machines is growing. The ability to load and use these enhanced models strengthen the case for investment.

Precision data translates to safety and better ROI. Precision data also translates into better 3D modeling. Starting with a better model in the virtual worlds provides economic benefits across the entire workflow and of course, a safer workplace. 

After reading Marco Cecala's article, (Stockpile Reports: Software Review) we may even see the laser scanner augmented or even replaced for some applications by digital imaging post processed in the cloud. Add to that probing sensors in the drill asbuilt mapping the hole while drilling and it its easy to see the evolution that could take place

For more information, please take a look at the application video I shot while on site. To view click here

References and links

L5 Navigation

Geo Konzept




MDL Laser

Carlson Machine Control

Jehander AB - Heidelberg Cement Group

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