An investigation into the parameters that affect the swell factor used in volume and design calculations at Callide open cut coal mine

Heit, Andrew (2011) An investigation into the parameters that affect the swell factor used in volume and design calculations at Callide open cut coal mine. [USQ Project]


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This project aims to investigate the parameters that affect the swell factor used in design and reported volumes for different parts of the mining process and cast blasting methods at various locations around Callide mine.

The Callide coal mine along with most mines worldwide have been using a swell factor as a variable in open cut mine design and volume removed calculations throughout history.

At Callide coal mine a swell factor with now unknown origins or validity is being used. The current swell factor appears to be correct which can be seen by design being achieved however, after the annual Audit by Anglo BCO, the validity of this figure has been requested. As well as validating the swell factor, this report aims to predict the swell factor for future cast blasting applications.

This report is an investigation and includes the identification of the properties affecting the swelling of overburden material during the drill and blast process. These properties include those within the drill pattern design, explosives used and the geological makeup of the overburden. The report then validates the swell factor through measurement using traditional survey techniques. Upon identifying the drill, explosive and geological properties and the swell factor, the use of projection modelling and linear regression techniques for the analysis are employed. This is to discover which of the design and geological properties affect the swell factor the most and attempt to predict site specific swell factors based upon them.

The research needed to investigate the previously mentioned aims is based in their relative industries and professions. These include the mining industry, surveying and spatial science, geology and geotechnical engineering, drill and blast engineering, mathematics and data analysis.

This investigation will provide background knowledge and a review of the literature applied, information on the application and methodology used and a detailed analysis of captured data and resulting conclusions for the swell factor.

The exploration and use of survey techniques employed for calculating the swell factor and the data collection and analysis will use aerial scanning, I-Site terrestrial scanning, three dimensional modelling as well as standard survey procedures.

The geological study has required research into geological properties, in specific those affected by the drill and blast process, the lithology of Callide mine and methods of testing and acquisition.

Research into drill and blast engineering includes desired fragmentation size and maximum cast, the effect of drill and blast techniques on the overburden and which properties affect a change in overburden volume.

To obtain an accurate prediction of the swell factors a model must be created that amalgamates the information from the three professions, eliminates superfluous data and has the ability to be validated. To facilitate this, projection modelling and linear regression techniques are used in an effort to identify the a priori components to mathematically and graphically represent the relationship of properties within the data sets and the swell factor.

Developing a method of calculating the overburden swell factor will greatly affect mine design and reporting. If the swell factor is accurately known there is a possibility that design constraints can be tightened leading to better equipment utilisation, time management and an overall increase in efficiency. An increase in efficiency will lead to improved production and ultimately enhance capital gain.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Campbell, Glenn
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2012 03:21
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 01:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: swell factor, open cut mine, cast blasting methods
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090999 Geomatic Engineering not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401399 Geomatic engineering not elsewhere classified

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