The effect of blasting on the stability of tar sand slopes

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 72, No. 812, 1979

A. BAUER, Department of Mining Engineering, Queen's Universjty, Kingston, Ontario, W.A. CROSBY, Mining Resource Engineering Ltd. Kingston, Ontario

The correct application of large crater blasts in unfrozen tar sand is an effective means of resisting frost penetration during winter. This results in much higher productivity and considerably less down time with excavators during winter operations. The resulting flatter angle of repose of the highwall has readily been accommodated with slight modification to bucket-wheel excavator operating procedure.Other mining schemes call for large draglines to be located on top of the highwall, which can be as high as 180 feet. The question now arises as to the effect that blasting might have on the stability of such a situation in which the highwall includes potential planes of weakness. This paper applies blast vibration data from large-scale blasting in tar sand to the stability analysis for typical production situations likely to be encountered and indicates safe scaled distances to be employed between dragline and blast.
Keywords: Mining methods, Open-pit mining, Blasting, Slope stability, Tar sands, Crater blasting, Draglines.