Title: Diggability assessment in open pit mines: a review

Authors: Mohammad Babaei Khorzoughi; Robert Hall

Addresses: Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, V6T 1Z4, Canada ' School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, T6G 2W2, Canada

Abstract: Loading efficiency has a critical role in increasing production and reducing cost of mining operations. Inefficient loading can significantly increase operational costs. The term diggability index is used to indicate ease of excavation. It also can be related to loading equipment performance and subsequently quality of blast. Several indicators have been defined in the past to assess diggability. This paper mainly focuses on the review of loading equipment based diggability assessment methods. The review highlights that although several indicators for different purposes were proposed in the literature, no universally accepted approach for diggability assessment has been defined which could produce reliable and repeatable results for assessing the muck-pile digging conditions. In addition to muck-pile characteristics and blast quality, operator practice and machine type and conditions have been found to have a significant effect on diggability. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate their effect in any diggability assessment study.

Keywords: diggability index; performance monitoring; muck pile; loading equipment; electric rope shovels; fragmentation; open pit mines; loading efficiency; diggability assessment; blast quality; operator practice; machine type; mining conditions; opencast mining.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMME.2016.078352

International Journal of Mining and Mineral Engineering, 2016 Vol.7 No.3, pp.181 - 209

Received: 19 Mar 2015
Accepted: 31 Jan 2016

Published online: 02 Aug 2016 *

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