KPC coal production began in 1992 and moves approximately 500 million BCM of overburden per year which allows the production of 60 million tonnes of coal. Around 80% of the overburden requires drilling and blasting to enable efficient excavation.
KPC's drill and blast expectations are as should be expected, very comprehensive in their requirements for excellence in safety and efficiency. Any new application of technology requires careful planning and demonstration of the ability to safely maintain the improvement. For blast initiation, this requires on average 15 separate blast locations per day (approximately 475 blast locations per month or in excess of 5500 events per year).
Number of blast locations per month at CMD KPC 2019-2020
“Throughout the trial project of remote firing at CMD pits, AECI Mining Explosives has proved its capability to deliver a safe and efficient project to KPC. Remote firing is also proved in delivering quantifiable cost efficiencies for KPC. It is expected for AECI Mining Explosives to bring this project to a higher level by applying remote firing safely and efficiently in all blast locations at CMD KPC.”
KPC Drill & Blast Manager
PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) is located close to Sangatta and Bengalon, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Comprising an area of 90,938 Ha, KPC operates one of the largest open-pit mines in the world with coal resources of 9,275 billion tonnes.
The mining method utilized is truck and excavator within multi pits, which are managed by two mining divisions; Mining Operation Division (MOD) and Contract Mining Division (CMD). AECI Mining Explosives operates within the CMD area of KPC.
Conventional non-electric initiation was used in the KPC CMD area. This method requires a Lead-in-Line to be run from the blast location to the firing position and in 2017 this resulted in the use of approximately 650 m of Lead-in-Line per blast location.
AECI Mining Explosives Indonesia as the blasting services provider for KPC CMD since 2009, introduced IntelliShot®, an advanced electronic blasting initiation system that has many benefits including use as a remote blast initiator. IntelliShot® has the capability to initiate one or multi-blast locations wirelessly, known as remote firing. This application generates cost efficiencies by only using a short length of harness wire in comparison to the cost of a full Lead-in-Line when non-electric blast initiation is applied in the same application.
High production targets set by KPC requires blasting in multiple locations daily from various safe initiation locations.
Applying remote firing eliminates the usage of Lead-in-Line and as the cost of applying remote firing is less than the cost of Lead-in-Line, cost efficiencies are achieved. Remote firing use in Indonesia requires government approval of the Control Equipment. AECI Mining Explosives has acquired the certification from the Department of Communication and Informatics of Indonesia to use IntelliShot® in this manner.
Remote firing activity on the bench
Remote firing is a technology used in the blasting sector for the initiation of one or multi-bench locations wirelessly.
Remote firing methodology
In addition to saving on accessories, Remote Firing application also has safety benefits such as:
· IntelliShot® system has an advanced security system.
· It is possible to easily initiate the blast at larger safer distances, reducing risks such as fly rock.
· Remote firing allows the Blaster to fire from locations that give greater visual security of the blast area during firing.
· Remote firing eliminates the potential of slap, snap, and shoot that is possible with shock tube.
The introduction of remote firing at KPC was performed as a project, carried out in stages in the CMD area of KPC, with focused KPI targets agreed by the project team.
The remote firing project was conducted in the three CMD contractor pit areas at Sangatta and Bengalon under the management of KPC Drill & Blast Department. AECI Mining Explosives successfully delivered multiple events of remote firing blasting in all areas. AECI Mining Explosives also complied with safety and efficiency targets KPI’s agreed in the project charter as evaluated by KPC Drill & Blast Department.
The average usage of harness wire per remote firing event was around 100 m. In comparison to conventional blast initiation where 650 m per blast of Lead-in-Line was used.
The introduction of remote firing technology by AECI Mining Explosives has reduced the cost of blast initiation in KPC CMD by over 50%.