In the mine, a number of activities are performed simultaneously.
Blasting operations are planned on the basis of the mine plan; where, when and what methods are to be used to develop the deposit. When necessary, selective blasting or the mixing of blasted rock from different units is carried out. Lhoist adopts this approach as we believe that it is the only way to ensure the responsible use of our reserves while meeting customer requirements for the very long term.
Quarry operations start usually with drilling and blasting followed by the loading and the transport of blasted rock to the primary crusher. A rigorous blasting program assures the quality and quantity of the large volumes of stone required to feed the transformation plant. This is a vital step in the process.
In quarries that use blasting, drilling rigs create holes to load the explosives. The drill pattern of the holes and the explosive charges used influence the rock fragmentation and are selected on a site-by-site basis. Once the rock has been blasted, the stone is transported from the quarry face to the primary crusher by a fleet of quarry trucks, served by one or more loaders.
Stone not destined for the crusher is commercialized differently or used as backfill and for quarry rehabilitation.
Day-to-day quarry operations must respond to short-term internal and external constraints, in order to ensure supply to customers. Comparison of the long-term expectations and short-term realities on the job allow issues to be identified and suitable corrective actions to be taken.