Hole by Hole Blasthole Loading using Orica’s DipPlus at Gibraltar Mine


Ms Shannon Shadoff

DipPlus is a system created by Orica that enables complex hole-by-hole blasthole loading based on specific hole conditions. The designs are communicated to the blasters using Wi-Fi enabled tablets and loading progress can be seen in the office in real-time. At Gibraltar Mine, DipPlus was implemented in 2017 to optimize loading based on geological conditions. The system uses conditional loading rules and as-drilled input data to assign loading designs to holes based on their specific characteristics. Implementation of the system required the creation of conditional loading rules based on design standards and setting up systems to utilize as-drilled information on grade and hardness as conditions for loading. Powder truck operators were trained to use tablets to receive loading instructions and how to enter the as-loaded information. Using the information available from DipPlus, visualization of the powder distribution in the ground using as-loaded information is readily available. The block model now contains actual powder factor information allowing better analysis of blast performance. Better control our loading designs has led to more effective powder distribution in the ground, reducing over-blasting of soft material and under-blasting of hard material. As a result of the detailed loading designs, DipPlus has also allowed us to better forecast the powder requirements for blast patterns which assists with blast scheduling and loading resource allocation.