Reducing over-break in one of its underground mines in Chile was the goal for one of the world’s top gold producers. Over-break is excavation outside neat lines in a mine or a tunnel.
The objective was to reduce the over-break from 23% to 15%, which would provide a reduction of the transport costs by more than $600,000 USD, a reduction in the fortification cost process by more than $350,000 USD, and a $450,000 USD of savings due to plant productivity by reducing waste tons.
An observation revealed that the operators were not following the standard procedures, and there were problems with the drilling bars and drilling patterns. By controlling the drilling patterns and training workers, implementation efforts ensured a perfect face marking and drillingwith the following results: ramp over-break reduction from 34% to 16%, development over-break reduction from 13% to 6%, and access over-break reduction from 25% to 12%.
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