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Author: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engg. (E.mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com)
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Definition of Explosives : Explosives is a chemical compound or mixture, when exploded by action of heat,
impact, gives large volume of gases in a very short time at high temperature & pressure.

Classification : All commercial Explosives are broadly divided in two categories.

1) Low Explosives
2) High Explosives

Low Explosives : The chemical reaction in low Explosives is called deflagration which is a rapid process of
combustion without accompanying any shock wave but gives a heaving effect.
Example : Gum Powder
Chemical Composition : Sodium Nitrate - 72%
Sulpher - 12%
Coal - 16%

High Explosives : Reaction in High Explosives is characterised by an associated shock wave initiated by a
detonator, basically contains.
Oxidisers - Such as Ammonium Nitrate
Fuel Oil
Sensitizers : Methyle Amino Nitrate, Per chlorate Salt
Physical Sensitizer : Entrapped Air Bubbles

Explosive Characteristics :
Various important Explosives
Characteristics are

• Velocity of Detonation (VOD)

• Weight Strength
• Fume Characteristics
• Thermal Stability
• Sensitivity
• Density
• Water Resistance

Velocity of Detonation : It is the speed at which detonation wave travels through the media, it depends upon
Explosive type. VOD is measured by, some electronic means or by Dautriche test. Average VOD varies form 2500
M/S - 5800 M/Sec.

Weight Strength : Weight strength is the energy generated by an Explosive relative to that produced by an equal
weight of 94 AN 6 FO (94%) Fuel Oil.

Bulk Strength : It is the energy released per unit volume of Explosive as compared to ANFO. Bulk strength can be
calculated from weight strength using the equation
Relative Wt. Strength x Density
Relative Bulk Strength = --------------------------------------
Density of ANFO

Water Resistance : Explosives differ widely in resistance to water and moisture penetration. Some Explosives
deteriorate rapidly under wet conditions, but others are designed to withstand water for long periods. When blasting
is to be done under wet conditions, a water resistant Explosive is preferable.

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Sensitivity : An Explosives is required to be insensitive to normal handling, shock and friction, but must remain
sufficiently sensitive to be satisfactorily detonated, and capable of propagating satisfactorily, cartridge to cartridge,
even over gaps such as may occur in practice.

Fume Characteristics : Explosives, when used under stipulated ventilation conditions, should liberate a minimum
of harmful gases in the products of detonation.

Density : The density is important when selecting an Explosive for a particular use. With a high density Explosive
the energy of the shot is concentrated a desirable feature in tunneling and mining operations in hard ground. On the
other hand when the output of lump coal from a mine is important, it is advisable to use a low density Explosive,
which distributes the energy along the shothole.

Thermal Stability : Explosives compositions should be such as to be stable under all normal conditions of usage.

The DGMS stipulates that no blast hole shall be charges if the temperature in the borehole exceeds 80oC when
blasting in hot ground. Sometimes Explosives have to be used in sub zero conditions in which some explosives
become insensitive. Explosives compositions of M/s. Solar Explosives Ltd. are designed to be stable and safe, under
all conditions of use. When blasting in hot ground, precautions as stipulated by the DGMS should be adhered to.

Properties of NG & AN :
Nitro Glycerine (NG) - it is a liquid, insoluble in water, highly sensitive to stock, friction and heat. In all Explosives
of N.G. based oniroglycol is mixed for lowering the freezing point, used for hardest rocks and metals and for
shooting oil wells.

Ammonium Nitrate (AN) :

It is a weak Explosives base. Difficult to initiate, so a sensitizer like NG or TNT is used. It is Oxygen positive,
Hygroscopic, soluble in water. Tendency to form hard cakes.


It is known as pipe charges or Gruit charge. Consist of a plastic pipe (PVC) of dia 11mm & of length 460mm,
containing Explosives within it at concentration 0.11 Kg/m & 1.24 Kg/m respectively. Rate of detonation 4000
m/Sec. These are used in presplitting, smooth blasting and when blasting close to buildings. Advantages being
saving in handling & charging time, over charging is eliminated, less over break, less cracking & less vibration.

Emulsion technology comes in the following categories :
• Repumpable Emulsion
• Site Mix Emulsion with support Plant
• Augered Heavy ANFO
• Pumped Doped Emulsion
To deliver the product down the borehole, company is offering initially repumpable type and Pumped Doped
Emulsion. For this company has designed special pump, truck capable of pumping Bulk Emulsion after mixing with
density control agent on site.

The system, which we are offering now, is named as Repumpable Bulk Doped Emulsion, Solar BE 101. For this
system the emulsion of oxidiser and fuels is prepared at location, where this facilities are available. The emulsion
can be stored in ambient conditions and is non-explosive. This non-explosive emulsion matrix after doping with
Prilled Ammonium Nitrate is mixed with gassing agents are charged into bore hole by pump truck. The mixture
becomes sensitive only after the same is delivered in to the blast hole and the gassing reaction completed in above 15

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Various important blasting accessories are as under :
1. Safety Fuse
2. Plastic Ignitor Cord.
3. Detonators.
• Plain Detonators
• Electric Detonators
• Instantaneous Electric Detonators
• Long delay Detonators
• Short Delay Detonators
• Non Electric Detonators
4. Cord Relay
5. Detonating Cord
6. Magnadet
7. Anodet
8. Ohm Meter
9. Exploder

Safety Fuse :
A cord of special black powder wrapped in envelope made up of various layers of textile yarn & water proofing
material. Used for directly igniting low Explosive of initiating high Explosive through plain detonator. Burning rate
100-130 sec/m.

Plastic Ignitor Cord :

Used for ignition of several fuses in quick succession in any desire sequence. It is 1.8-2.5 mm dia fuse, which gives
intense flame at uniform rate. Rates 3.3 S/M of 33 S/M. slower one contains a core of a cu wire coated with plastic
incendiary composition and an iron wire added for strength, with plastic covering.

Used for initiating high explosives but are them selves ignited by safety fuse consist of 6mm dia Al. Tube partly
filled with detonating charges. Modern detonators have a base charge of PETN (Penta Erithetetrol Tetra Nitrate)
with a priming charge of A.S.A. (Lead Azide, Lead Styphnate and Al. Powder) strength depends upon amount of
base charge.
No.6 & No.8, No.6=0.22gm. of PETN & 35mm long. No.8=0.45gm. PETN & 48 mm long both contains 0.2 gm

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These are fired electrically.


Comprises of Cu of Al. Tube of 7mm dia and a little longer than the plain detonator so as to accommodate the fuse
head and the neopren plug. Copper Detonators are for gassy coal mine where highly incendiary Al. is prohibited.
Explosive charges are ignited by an electric fuse head of Nickel-Chromium-Iron alloy bridge wire soldered to the
ends brass foils separated by an insulating piece of card board.
Fuse Head Composition : Potassium Chlorate, Nitro Cellulose, Charcoal (See Sketch)


Special use in shaft sinking tunneling, drifting where successive rounds are better fired in a certain sequence with
adequate time interval in between rounds so that each round breaks into clear free face. In delay detonators a time
lag is deliberately introduced between the firing of the fuse head and the explosion of the detonator.


These are also known as half second delay detonators having nominal delay interval of around 300 to 500 ms for
each. These are widely used for tunneling work and generally from 1 to 10 Nos. are available.

Short Delay electric detonators are same as long delay in construction and strength and above nominal delay interval
of 25 ms. for each delay.

Delay composition of long delay detonator comprise of antimony and KMNO while it is Red Lead & Silicon for
short delay.


Earlier mentioned plain detonator also fall under this but due to its restricted use it is explained under separate

Non-electric delay detonator basically consist of a length of plastic single tube to which is fitted a powerful delay
detonators. The single tube is made of a special plastic material. The outer dia being 3 mm and inner dia 1.0 mm. Its
inner surface is lightly coated with a mixture of reactive powders which provide the energy transmitting medium
with in the tubing on initation by a detonator cord or by a detonator a shock wave propagates along inside the tube at
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a velocity of about 2000 M/sec. without bursting the tubing and therefore having no effect on any Explosives
through which is passes. The resulting flame front ignites the top of the delay element with in the detonator tube.

These are available in long delay and short delay series.

These devices permit short delay to be introduced into trunk lines of detonating cords. A cord relay consists of two
delay detonators mounted inside a resilient plastic shell. They are bi-directional in operation, Cord Relays are
available in the 15 Ms, 17 Ms, 25 Ms, 50 Ms, 75 Ms, 100 Ms, delay time. The shorter delay intervals are generally
required for small (65-90mm) dia blast holes drilled on close spacing whereas the longer intervals are suited to larger
blast holes drilled on wider spacing.
Cord Relays are designed for use with detonating cords, which have core loads of 10 gm/M. No special connecting
tool is needed.

It serves the same purpose as detonators and directly initiates the high Explosives while them needing a detonator for
initiation. Useful in simultaneous multiple shot firing minimising the use of several detonators. Advantageous in
blasting long hole. It comprises of PETN (Pentaerythrol Tetranitrate) train enclosed in a tape wrapped in textile yarn
and whole thing covered by plastic. Finished dia 5 mm for the D.F., which contain 10 gm PETN meter (See Sketch).

Used for testing the continuity and resistance of blasting circuits. These are of two types.
i) Powered by low voltage hand operated generator.
ii) 1.5v dry battery type.

Used for firing shots electrically, these are of two types:
i) Generator type :- Magneto of dynamo (for large capacity) operated by a quick twist of strong down ward
push of handle.
ii) Condenser discharge type :- Can be battery of dynamo powered.

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In terms of processing, blasting is the critical first step in the rock-fragmentation process. Maximum profitability
depends largely on good blasting. Consider that drilling and blasting are the first operations performed in any hard-rock
quarry operation. Therefore, the results of these operations will affect more down-line activities, such as loading, hauling
and crushing, than any other processing operation.

Blasting should always be viewed in the "global" sense. One should examine not only the effect of changes on the
drilling and blasting program, but also how the change will affect the productivity and economics of other down-line cost
centers. Blasting should also be viewed in the "local" sense. No other quarry operation has more capacity to cause
community dissent than blasting.

All quarry operations should have in place a proper public-relations program designed to communicate to the community
that proper safety precautions and procedures are in place with regard to its blasting program.

To understand the principles of rock blasting, it is necessary to start with the rock fragmentation process that follows the
detonation of the explosives in a drill hole. The explosion is a very rapid combustion, in which the energy contained in
the explosives is released in the form of heat and gas pressure. The transformation acts on the rock in three consecutive

Compression: a pressure wave propagates through the rock at a velocity of 2,500–6,000 m/sec, depending on rock type
and type of explosives. This pressure wave creates microfractures which promote rock fracturing. Reflection: during the
next stage, the pressure wave bounces back from the free surface, which is normally the bench wall or natural fissures in
the rock. The compression wave is now transformed into tension and shear waves, increasing the fracturing process.

Gas pressure: large volumes of gas are released, entering and expanding the cracks under high pressure. Where the
distance between the blasthole and the free face has been correctly


In the 1990s increasing emphasis was placed on the role of fragmentation at the operation. In particular the effect of
fragmentation on crushing, load and haul, and run-of-mine leach pad efficiency has received considerable attention.
Better predictive techniques have been developed, and computer-aided methods for determining the fragmentation
distributions in actual blasts are now available. Fragmentation studies can lead to improved profits at many operations.
For example, studies at one operation showed that the same production could be obtained with one less excavator in
good digging, when compared to poor digging conditions. This is a result with both capital- and operating-cost

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For maximum success it is essential that the mine or quarry carefully design its blasts to achieve the desired results.
These designs must be accurately implemented in the field. The blasts must be shot in a safe manner, with the area
properly barricaded and all persons removed a safe distance away. Environmental affects such as ground vibration,
airblast and fume production must also be controlled.


The past 15 years or so have seen new explosive formulations reach the marketplace, and reductions in the use of some
products that have been in use for longer periods. The principal newcomers have been the emulsions, and emulsion-
ANFO blends usually called Heavy ANFO, that denotes its greater density than ANFO dry mixes.


The formulation of an emulsion is very similar to that of blasting slurries (water gels). However, the cross-linking agent
used to stiffen the slurry is replaced by an emulsifying agent. This water-in-oil emulsifying agent suspends minute
droplets of the ammonium nitrate (or a combination of AN with either calcium nitrate or sodium nitrate) oxidizer within
the fuel. This yields a very intimate oxidizer and fuel mix that leads to high detonation velocities.

Emulsions may be bulk loaded, or used in packaged form. Packaged products are usually employed in small hole
diameters. They are mechanically sensitized using microballoons to introduce sufficient air into the mix and control the
density. Bulk emulsions are used in larger diameters and may be mechanically or chemically sensitized, with chemical
sensitization being less costly. Bulk-loaded product fully fills the cross sectional area of the hole and delivers maximum
energy to the surrounding rock. This is a characteristic of all bulk-loaded products unless they are intentionally
decoupled as is often the case in presplitting. Packaged emulsion will usually result in some decoupling with a reduction
in borehole pressures. This generally is not a great problem in small diameter blastholes.

Ammonium Nitrate Fuel Oil (ANFO)

ANFO remains one of the most commonly used products in quarry blasting. It is a combination of ammonium nitrate
(oxidizer) and number-two fuel oil (fuel). Number-one fuel oil may be used in cold-weather applications.

Blasting grade AN prills are made by spraying molten AN into a prilling tower. Droplets fall under carefully controlled
cooling conditions. The AN solidifies while falling, taking on an approximately spherical shape of relatively uniform
size. Prilling tower conditions must be such that will produce a "porous" prill that will absorb the proper amount of fuel
oil (6 percent by weight). For those with overseas operations especially it will be important to confirm that a porous prill
is being produced. High density prills will not properly absorb the fuel oil and blasting performance will suffer, unless
these have been crushed to about -20 mesh.

Blasting-grade AN prills are typically +6, -14 mesh in size. This uniformity in the size of the prills results in a poor
packing density, with considerable interstitial voids present. Hence a product which typically bulk loads in a density
range of 0.80 to 0.85 gm/cc. Some packaged ANFO products use a blend of sizes, where a portion of the prill is crushed,
leading to densities of about 1.05 gm/cc. This product can be loaded in wet holes provided it is contained in a suitably
waterproof bag.

ANFO has virtually no water resistance. Many people are of the impression that it takes several hours before water attack
seriously affects ANFO. The reality, however, is that degradation of the product is immediate. Even if holes will be
detonated 2 or 3 hours after loading, performance will have been seriously affected.

Therefore, whenever ANFO is to be loaded into wet holes, the blastholes should first be pumped and a plastic liner
placed in the hole. The ANFO is loaded inside the liner. Care should be taken to obtain a liner that has a high integrity.
Even a few pinholes are enough to allow water to attack ANFO. For hole diameters less than 5 in., using plastic liners is
generally difficult. Therefore, small diameter waterproof products such as emulsions or slurries are generally used for
small diameter, wet holes.
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One way to increase the energy output in ANFO is to add aluminum. The reaction of ammonium nitrate with aluminum
releases more energy per unit of weight. The aluminum must be of a suitable size to be reactive, but not so fine as to
constitute an explosion hazard. This generally means a size range of -20, +150 mesh.

The upper limit on aluminum addition is usually about 15 percent. As more Al is added to the mix increasing
percentages of the energy are trapped in a solid product of detonation. Beyond 15 percent Al by weight there is little
additional energy output for the aluminum added.

Heavy ANFO

Another way to increase the energy output of ANFO is to add emulsion to it. The emulsion fills the voids between the
prills, the density increases and there is more energy output per unit of blasthole volume. This class of explosives are
known as Heavy ANFO. They provide a cost effective way to increase the energy output of ANFO.

Heavy ANFO may be produced solely for the purpose of increasing the energy output. However, at higher emulsion
percentages by weight these products become waterproof. Such formulations can be bulk loaded into wet holes.

Experiment has shown that the performance of Heavy ANFO becomes sluggish as more emulsion is added unless the
emulsion has been sensitized by gassing or microballoons. It appears that in hard-rock performance will suffer when
there is more than 30 percent of unsensitized emulsion in the mix. In softer formations greater percentages of
unsensitized product can usually be employed because suitable fragmentation of the rock depends to a greater degree on
heave energy. The degree of non-ideal detonation introduced by the lack of sensitization means that a greater degree of
the total energy is released as heave energy.

A waterproof product is typically produced at 50 percent emulsion addition. However, to obtain a product that can be
pumped reliably it is common to use a waterproof Heavy ANFO containing 60 to 70 percent emulsion. Such products
should always be made with a sensitized emulsion, or performance will suffer.

When waterproof heavy ANFO blend is loaded into wet holes it should always be loaded from the bottom up. This is
achieved using a bulk truck with a hose that can extend to the bottom of the blasthole. The product is pumped through
the hose. The hose is retracted as loading proceeds, but is always kept in the explosive. The water rises on top of the
advancing column of more dense explosive. Mixing does not occur if the loading is carefully performed.

When Heavy ANFO is augured into wet holes it spatters on impact with the water, and prill goes into the solution. Water
is mixed into the explosive column. Bridging may occur with portions of the explosive column separated by a water gap.
Since the gap sensitivity of these products is not large this may lead to the failure of a portion of the explosive column to
detonate unless it happens to be primed on both sides of the water gap.

Heavy ANFO is also produced as a packaged product. In this case it is sensitized using microballons, which improves
the shelf life. Package products can be used where there are insufficient wet holes to warrant bulk loading, or in small
tonnage operations. It is also used as a toe load in holes that have only a few feet of water in the bottom of the hole, and
can be used in small-diameter packaged formulations.


There is still a considerable amount of dynamite sold annually in the U.S. However, pits and quarries have almost
completely moved from the use of dynamites to small diameter, cap-sensitive emulsions and slurries for appropriate
applications. Dynamites are explosive substances that depend upon nitroglycerin or nitrostarch for sensitiveness. These
products are usually cap sensitive with a detonation velocity dependent upon the diameter and density.

Dynamites are used as decoupled charges in presplitting. They are also used sometimes to prime ANFO in small
diameters. For this latter application a product with high detonation velocity should be chosen because it will have the

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higher detonation pressures (a function of the square of the detonation velocity) that are important for efficient priming
of ANFO.

Explosives and blast-initiation accessories

Some of the explosive described above are cap sensitive. This means the product can be efficiently detonated by a
blasting cap or delay detonator of adequate strength, or by compatible detonating cord. Small-diameter emulsions and
slurries are typically cap sensitive. The manufacturer should be consulted as to the proper accessories to use. The
sensitivity of some products may vary with temperature. Greater priming strength can be required when the product is to
be detonated at low temperature.

Bulk-loaded explosives used in hole diameters greater than 5 in. almost always require heavier priming than a detonator
alone can provide. It is well-established that initiation of the bulk explosive is temperature- and pressure-dependent.
Those primers yielding high detonation pressure initiate the explosive more efficiently. Thus formulations with high
velocity of detonation (VOD) generally give the best results. For this reason the cast pentolite primers were developed.
These generate 2.2 to 2.8 million psi detonation pressure, depending on the formulation. Various designs to provide an
effective primer economically have been developed.

Cast primers are often 1.0 lb. in weight. However, primers of greater weight are also produced. These may be useful in
difficult applications or with an explosive having a higher minimum primer weight. The weight per primer used in the
blastholes should be 4 to 6 times the minimum primer weight. Cast primers typically have a length to diameter ration of
3:1 to 4:1. The primer should have a sufficient diameter to act on an adequate cross sectional area of the explosive charge
thereby insuring efficient initiation. It must be long enough to allow the VOD in the primer to build up, providing
maximum pressure off the end of the primer. Therefore, there is a trade off between length and diameter to provide
effective initiation with a primer of reasonable dimensions and cost.

Cast primers are made with a single tunnel through which detonating cord can pass or with a tunnel through the primer
and a cap well. The cap well accepts a down-the-hole delay detonator for in-hole delay applications

Slider primers are used for multiple priming on a single detonating cord downline. This is often used when deck loading
is employed. These primers are made with a tunnel affixed to the outside of the cast primer. Detonating cord passes
through the tunnel. The pigtail on the end of the delay detonator is also passed through the tunnel. Upon initiation the
delay is initiated from the contact between the detonating cord and the delay pigtail. Only certain types of downlines
(usually of low grain count) can be used and this information should be obtained from the manufacturer.

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In some cases a stick of dynamite is used to initiate the hole. The approach is most common when priming ANFO in
small diameters. The majority of dynamites do not generate the kind of pressures a cast primer provides. However, a few
gelatin products detonate at very high VOD and do give high detonation pressure. When priming ANFO with dynamite
this type should be used.

Detonators and initiation systems

Detonators are used to initiate the blast. These may be electronic, electric or non-electric. For modern-day blasting, delay
detonators are virtually always used. Delay detonators are available for use in the hole, and also for connecting into the
surface tie-in.

A delay detonator is similar to an instantaneous cap except that a delay element is included between the initiation charge
that is activated by the in-coming energy, and the base charge. The delay compound burns at an accurately know rate and
provides the desired delay time.

Down-the-hole delays are used alone to provide the proper firing rotation or in combination with surface delays. In the
former case different delay times are used in the appropriate blastholes to provide the desired sequence of detonating
holes. When used together with surface delays a constant down-the-hole delay time is often used. The in-hole delay is of
sufficient duration to allow several rows of surface connections and downlines to be activated in advance of blasthole
detonations. This approach avoids cutoffs and misfires that reduce blast performance and introduce subsequent safety
concerns. When down-the-hole delays are used it is often possible to use longer surface delays without fear of cutoffs.

In orebodies where hot holes are possible (such as reactive sulfides) down-the-hole detonators must be used very
carefully, because these are the most sensitive element to heat in the blasthole. Holes over a certain temperature are often
not loaded. Top priming just before shooting is often indicated. Avoiding the use of these detonators is also an approach
taken by mines where this is a severe problem.

Down-the-hole delays are often made with shock tube lead lines. These may be long lead where the shock tube extends
all the way to the collar, or short lead where the shock tube is an 18- to 24-in. pigtail. These latter units are used with
detonating cord downlines. The detonating cord must be compatible with the delay system used.

Surface delays provide good flexibility in blast tie-in to provide for the desired sequence of detonating holes. Delay units
are made that can be spliced into detonating cord trunklines used to connect the blastholes together. Systems are also
available with long shock-tube leads, eliminating the need for the more noisy detonating cord. This is especially useful
for quarries because these pits are often sited in close proximity to residential and commercial areas. However, the latter
systems cannot be made redundant in the same manner as those that employ detonating cord, so shock-tube systems must
be connected together with particular care.

Detonating cord

Detonating cord contains a core load of high explosive (usually PETN). It detonates at about 22,000 ft. per second.
Detonating cord is made with various weights of PETN per ft. of cord. This is usually expressed as the grains per ft..
There are 7,000 grains in one pound.

Detonating cord is used as downlines in the blasthole to transfer initiation energy to primers and down-the-hole delays. It
is also used for surface trunklines to connect blastholes together. It is easy to connect up, but has the disadvantage of
generating substantial airblast. Therefore, it is usually used on surface when operating in remote locations. Shock tube,
electric and electronic blasting systems are more commonly used when operating in proximity to built up areas.

Shock-tube systems

The shock-tube system is a plastic tube with a thin explosive coating on the inside of the tube. Upon detonation this
material continuously detonates at a low velocity of approximately 6,500 fps. Thus, the plastic tubes are not consumed
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and the noise level is low. It is, therefore, good to use as lead-in line to initiate a non-electric blast in populated areas. It
is also used to connect holes together when used as part of a long lead-surface delay system. It is used in the blasthole as
a long lead down-the-hole (DTH) delay system to replace detonating cord downlines, or as a pigtail on DTH delays used
in conjunction with detonating cord. Shock tube systems, unlike some detonating cords, will not set off a primer and
must always be used with a DTH initiator and compatible primer.

Electric detonators

Fewer blasts in surface mines and quarries are initiated with electric systems today than once was the case. However, this
practice is certainly still followed by many, especially in quarrying.

Construction of electrical caps and delays is similar to non-electric components, except that the energy to ignite the
ignition compound is provided electrically. This does have the advantage of minimizing noise on surface, but has the
disadvantage of being more susceptible to stray radio frequency and currents, lightening, etc.

The instantaneous electric blasting cap is sometimes called an E.B. cap. Like the non-electric blasting cap it is a thin
metal shell containing various sensitive ignition powders and primary initiating high explosives sealed in a waterproof
assembly. The electric cap is completely sealed with water-resistant plugs with only two insulated "leg wires" emerging.
Inside the cap the leg wires are joined by a short piece of fine resistance wire called a "bridge wire." The bridge wire
may be imbedded either directly into an ignition mixture or in an electric match. In either case, when an ample electric
current passes through this bridge wire it heats it to incandescence. This ignites the ignition mixture and initiates the
primer and base charges in the cap. Thus, the electric blasting cap converts a relatively small amount of electrical energy
into a primary-initiating explosion capable of detonating cap-sensitive high explosives with which it is in intimate

Delay electric caps are similar to instantaneous caps in construction and action, except that between the ignition charge
and the primer charge there is a column of powder called a "delay charge" which serves as a time fuse. Delay E.B. caps
are of two general types: millisecond, and long-period delay. A wide choice of delay intervals are available running from
about 8 milliseconds (a millisecond is one-thousandth of a second) through to about 12 seconds. Most quarries use
millisecond delays because of the improved breakage and reduced vibration they provide. Many underground operations
use the long-periods, although many have switched over to milliseconds.

Scores of different hook-ups may be made. Determination of electrical resistances and other details pertinent to firing
electrically are discussed in manufacturers' literature available to guide mine and quarry operators. Success requires that
the operator precisely follow directions of the manufacturer who produced the electrical devices they utilize. Such
directions give the exact procedure required to properly:

1. Select and lay out the blasting circuit.

2. Connect wires and protect splices.

3. Test the circuit.

4. Apply the required electrical energy.

5. Protect the circuit from extraneous electricity.

Electronic blasting systems

Both the shock-tube system and electric detonators rely on a pyrotechnic delay element to attain their delay timing.
These pyrotechnic delays are subject to timing inaccuracies called "scatter." Scatter can be caused by variations in the
pyrotechnic composition, age and temperature. Deviation from the detonators nominal firing time can cause out-of-

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sequence firing. This will result in high vibrations, airblast and poor blast performance. Recognizing the accuracy issue
and the safety concerns with both the electric system (stray current) and shock tube (cannot be tested) the industry has
moved towards a more advanced initiation technology called electronic-blasting systems.

Electronic-blasting systems are unique as they have eliminated the pyrotechnic delay element and replaced it with a
high-accuracy timing "chip." These systems now deliver 1/10th of a millisecond timing accuracy with delays up to
20,000 milliseconds. The systems are available in both programmable and fixed times. Programmable systems allow the
blast engineer to design blasts specific to the site conditions.

Electronic systems also bring with them many safety advantages such as being fully testable with self-diagnostics, able
to operate in areas of extraneous current and greater blast control through accurate timing.

Field tests have proven that the use of electronic-blasting systems with proper blast designs have reduced vibration
levels, airblasts and significantly improved blast performance.


The following summarizes the advantages of using delay detonators in production blasting.

• Improved fragmentation due to the greater freedom for the material to relieve.
• Greater flexibility in firing sequences and burden to spacing relationships due to the ability to orient the blast
through the tie-in.
• Greater ability to control blast vibration and airblast.
• More predictable blast movement and flyrock control.
• Reduced backbreak behind the last row of holes.
• Minimized cut-offs.

For extensive information about explosive and initiation produces provided by many domestic and overseas
manufacturers the reader is referred to the Explosives Product Guide included in the Membership Directory and Desk
Reference published each year by the International Society of Explosive Engineers.

Blast-design factors

There are a number of factors to be considered when designing a blast. These include:

• Material type to be blasted and the blast pattern and hole loading to use in the given rock.
• Degree of fragmentation desired.
• The geological structure and the attitude of the tie-in lines relative to the structure.
• The type and performance of the explosive charge.
• The type of initiation system and the duration of millisecond delays and accuracy needed.
• For a given pattern, the ratio of burden to spacing as defined by the tie-in or the layout.
• Subgrade drilling needed to fully break to the pit floor.
• Crest and toe locations (or average backbreak from the last row if the fact is not dug out).
• Upper bench elevations to determine hole depths.
• Blast size required to maintain quarry or mine production.
• Blasting ground vibration and airblast, and the design requirements to maintain acceptable levels.

Blasthole layout

Once a suitable pattern and loading have been determined it is important that the holes be accurately laid out in the field
and drilled in the proper location. Irregular blasthole locations lead to less acceptable blasting results, unless the

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improperly drilled holes are redrilled. Burden and spacing dimensions vary and the tie-in is more difficult on irregular
patterns. Some portions of the blast will be overshot, while other areas will experience hard toe and coarser

It is especially important that the front row holes be properly located. If there is too much burden (especially at the toe)
fragmentation will suffer and the remainder of the blast will not properly relieve. Hard toes are likely to be in evidence.
When there is too little burden, the high-pressure explosion gases cannot be contained. Rapid gas venting through the
face will occur. Greater flyrock throw and airblast can be expected. There will be hard toes and blocky fragmentation.

Mines that have a survey department can measure toe and crest locations on the bench and plot these on the blast plan
map, upon which drill pattern is designed. Thus, the front row locations can be more accurately determined. Quarries,
where on-going surveying capability is less common can obtain a better idea of the face profile using a hand level and
tape. Standing at the crest of the bench a point on the pit floor can be sighted and the angle measured with the hand level.
Using simple trigonometry for the right triangle, the base length can be calculated since the bench height is known. This
base length is the total horizontal distance from the crest of the bench to the point measured on the pit floor.

A 100-ft. tape is used to measure the distance from the point on the pit floor back to the toe of the bench. The difference
between the total base length and this distance is the crest to toe offset. The blastholes can then be set back from the crest
a suitable distance to yield an acceptable toe burden (or one can identify areas where an overburdened toe is likely to
occur). In areas where safety working around the high wall is a concern the operation should consider laser profiling and
bore tracking the blast to confirm the face conditions and profile. Laser equipment and or services are available to help
acquire this information.

Blasthole loading

It is important that holes be loaded correctly in accordance with the design. Improperly loaded holes can lead to poor
fragmentation and/or excessive flyrock and noise. The hole depths must be correct. Operators must decide how short
holes can be before redrilling is required. In very hard rock a blasthole that is one or two ft. short can result in hard toe.
In softer rock more variance is acceptable, but is seldom more than four or five ft.

Modern-day bulk trucks have more sophisticated measuring and control systems. The operator can set the weight to be
loaded in the blasthole and the truck shuts off automatically. However, this does not eliminate the need to bob the
blasting tape in the hole during loading. The truck-control systems cannot tell about voids or cavities in the hole, nor
about control-system malfunctions. Thus to avoid over or under loading, and to obtain the correct column rise, it is still
important to tape the hole during loading.

Accurate loading is especially important regarding the column rise and corresponding stemming height. The explosive
column must rise high enough in the given rock type to fully break to the surface of the upper bench. Good breakage is
related to the depth of burial of the top of the charge. Too great a depth of burial and the top of the blast will be poorly

On the other hand, if the explosive column rises too high in the hole the depth of burial is low, gases vent rapidly to the
surface, and there is more flyrock and noise. Also, the radius of the crater of fully broken material formed around the
hole decreases and there may be hard areas between holes.

Front-row stemming height

Stemming heights on the front row may need to be increased. Since the bench-face angle is less than 90 degrees the
burden on the front row holes is continuously decreasing between the toe and collar of the hole. Depending on where the
front row blasthole must be drilled to maintain a suitable toe distance the burden may become too small to contain the
explosion gases at the normal column rise. To avoid gas venting to the face causing flyrock, noise and loss of
performance, stemming on front-row holes may need to be increased.

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A simple measurement can be made in the field to determine the stemming height on the front row, using a telescoping
surveyors rod and a 100-ft blasting tape. The rod is placed at the collar of the hole and extended over the face to the
length of the desired minimum burden. A weighted tape is passed along the rod, through the ring at the top of the
surveyor's pole and then drops vertically until it strikes the face. The total length is read from the tape. The burden
distance is subtracted from the total, giving the vertical distance. This is the stemming height. For example, if 6-1/2 in.
holes at the quarry require a 12-ft. minimum burden and the total taped length is 29 ft., the vertical distance is: 29-12 =
17 ft.

This is the stemming height required to maintain minimum burden on the charge. Failure to make appropriate
adjustments to front row stemming may well lead to hazardous flyrock.

Blast tie-ins and burden to spacing relationships

Drilled and loaded blast patterns may be tied-in to create different burden to spacing relationships. Commonly used
designs are:

1. Square pattern tied en-echelon or across two free faces. Known as a V-1 tie-in. This is a non-staggered pattern. Tie-in
is on the diagonal of the square and is oriented at 45 degrees to the free face. The effective burden is 0.707 times the
drilled burden. The ratio of the effective spacing on the tie-in to the effective burden is 2:1.

2. Staggered square pattern tied on the diagonal of the parallelogram. This is known as the V-2 tie-in. The orientation is
34 degrees to the face. The effective burden is 0.56 times the drilled burden. The ratio of effective spacing to effective
burden is 3:1.

3. Staggered equilateral pattern tied-in on the V-2 configuration. The angle to the free face is 30 degrees. The effective
burden across the tie-in is 0.50 times the drilled spacing. The ratio of effective spacing to effective burden is 3-5:1.

4. Row on row tie-in. In this case successive rows detonate in progression. There is no burden reduction and the effective
burden and spacing are the same as the drilled dimensions. The rows detonate parallel to the face rather than at an angle.
Generally in open pits and quarries the tie-ins described above are preferred.

Millisecond delay timing

The duration of millisecond delay times must also be considered. Field experiments have shown that 1 to 1-1/2 ms-per-
ft. of effective burden is the minimum that can be considered if any relief is to be obtained for holes firing on successive
delay periods.

For good relief, it is typically found that 2 to 2-1/2 ms-per-ft. of effective burden are required. In some cases where
maximum relief is desired 5 to 6 ms-per-ft. may be appropriate. When delay times are long care must be taken to avoid
cutoffs and misfires depending upon the type of initiation system being used. A down-the-hole delay of sufficient
duration to allow much of the surface tie-in lines and blasthole downlines to be consumed before blastholes begin
detonating is the usual procedure taken to avoid these problems.


Open up a New Excavation

Apart form mining, rock excavation is frequently necessary during the construction of Roads, Railways, Canals, etc.

In opening up a new excavation, the holes are normally drilled with jackhammers and subsequently charged with
gelatins. A drilling pattern suitable for initial cut, 3M deep is shown in sketch.

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A cavity of the requisites width is first created by drilling and blasting holes 1.5-1.7 meters deep in parallel rows.
The holes in the two middle rows are inclined so as to form a wedge. These inclined holes are blasted first, followed
by other holes fired in sequence. The resulting excavation is 1.5 meters deep and can be deepened further.

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No. of Charge Total

Holes Per Hole Charge
Per Ring (Kg) Per Ring (Kg)
Ring 5 7.00
Sumpers 8 8.96
Inner Easers 12 11.76
Quter Easers 16 15.68
Trimmers 41 43.40

Volume of Rock-88m3
Charge Ratio 2m3 per Kg

Bench blasting is normally carried out by blasting a large number of parallel holes in each round. Considering the
blasting mechanics, with a compression- reflection-gas pressure stage in consecutive order for each charge, it is of vital
importance to have a proper delay between each row, and even between individual holes in each row. A proper delay
will reduce rock throw, improve fragmentation, and limit ground vibrations. The blast should be planned so that the rock
from the first row of holes has moved about one third of the burden, when the next row is blasted. The horizontal
distance between the hole and the free face is the burden, and the parallel distance between holes in a row is the spacing.
The ratio between spacing and burden will have great impact on the blasting result, and 1.25 can be considered as an
average ratio. The optimum burden depends upon a number of parameters, such as rock type, required fragmentation,
type of explosives, hole deviation, and hole inclination. Nevertheless, as large drill holes can accommodate more
explosives, there is a distinct relationship between burden and hole diameter.

As the bottom part of the blast is the constricted and critical part for successful blasting, it is used as a basis for deciding
all other parameters. Stemming of the top part of the hole is used to ensure that the energy of explosives is properly
utilised. It will also reduce and control the fly rock ejected from the blast.

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The measure of effectiveness of drilling and blasting operations is not in terms of blasting cost alone, but rather by
its contribution of the efficiency and economy of total excavation system. Savings accrued through excessive
reduction in the cost of drilling and blasting may well be lost by increased loading., handling and crushing costs. An
optimum blast, with improved fragmentation, accounts for increased cost of drilling and blasting, while the cost of
loading, handling and crushing are lowered.

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The concept developed by Mackenzie describes the total blasting cost as :-

Ct= Cd+CB+cl+Cc
Ct = Total blasting cost per tonne of finished product.
Cd = Cost of drilling
Cb = Cost of blasting
Cl = Cost of loading
Ch = Cost of Hauling
Cc = Cost of Crushing
P = Total tones of production

Fig. is representation of what Mackenzie believed was the relationship between blasting cost and drilling cost
Beginning from to the point to the left of OPTIMUM, he found that it was possible to reduce TOTAL cost by
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increasing BLASTING COST. He found that better fragmentation produced increased shovel loading efficiency,
reduced maintenance repair cost for shovels and dumpers and increased crusher output. Mackenzie achieved a
superior "degree of fragmentation" primarily by using more energetic of high strength Explosives. He found higher
BLASTING COST produced a very significant reduction in TOTAL COST.


Fragmentation levels required depend on the type of the excavating and hauling equipment. Fragmentation coarser
than optimum results in decrease in the loading efficiency and increase in the downtime of loading equipment with
added cost of maintenance.

On the other hand, to achieve fragmentation finer than optimum, cost of drilling and blasting may rise
disproportionately, which may not be offset by the additional advantage in loading. The blast design should,
therefore, be aimed at optimum fragmentation to economise the overall cost of mining.

Once the optimum fragmentation requirements for a particular mining equipment is decided, the question arises as to
determine which would need secondary breaking. As has already been mentioned above, any attempt to produce
"Zero Boulder Blast" would severely affect the drilling and blasting cost. The optimum ratio of percentage of
oversize boulders against the volume of rock of 1-2%.

Blast Economics :
Efficient explosives application is the least expensive method of fragmenting and casting rock. Blast casting the over
burden off coal dramatize the economic advantages of using explosive energy to increase production rate and
enlarge over all operating profit margins. Fig below graphically illustrate the economic advantages of changing the
blast design to an over burden casting configuration. In this case, the burden and spacing dimensions were reducing,
which caused the drilling costs to rise marginally. In addition, higher energy explosives where added to increase the
energy factor, which is required for higher fragmentation and higher through achieved in case of over burden
casting. Despite the increase in drilling and explosives cost. a major reduction in total operating cost was observed
due to increase in production and sooner access to the coal. Moreover, reduction in operating maintenance cost due
to less running of stripping and hauling equipment because of less material to handle.

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Blast Hole Diameter :

The optimum blast hole diameter is governed by factors such as type of Explosives, Rock mass properties, degree of
fragmentation desired and height of bench. An optimum blast hole diameter is that which accommodates that much
quantity of Explosives charge which not only breaks away several fold great rock mass but also displaces ti to
convenient distance for efficient handling by shovel.

However, in recent years, there is a discernible trend towards larger diameter because of lower drilling cost, and
more dependable yield of energy, which assures good fragmentation.

But at the same time, if diameter is too large the corresponding large blast hole array may result in poor
fragmentation, especially in the case of highly fissured of jointed strata.

Technical Considerations in Selecting Optimum Diameter for Blast Hole Drilling

(a) Influence of hole size on fragmentation :

Many a mining engineers are firmly of the view that an increase in hole diameter automatically means poorer
fragmentation. Nothing could be further from truth.

The Taconite iron ore mines of Minnesota, USA exhibits the classical example, where over the years, the operations
have progressed from 190 to 380 mm diameter holes with continual improvement in fragmentation. There has been
instances of operations that have had to reduce hole size because the blasting was producing too many fines.

The phenomenon may be better understood by assuming that the larger the hole diameter, the larger the drill pattern,
the larger the fragments. But suppose the hole diameter is increased, but not the drill pattern would not the
fragmentation be improved?

(b) Energy Utilization Factors :

Following example shows energy comparison (measured in million ft-lbs per foot) for various Explosives diameter,
which is indicative of the fact that with decrease in hole diameter measured energy also decreases.

1. Measured energy of ANFO in a 1 inch hole = 4.8 million ft-lbs/ft.

Measured energy of ANFO in a 8 inch hole = 19.2 million ft-lbs/ft.

19.2 - 4.8
% more energy utilization = ----------- x 100 = 300%
2. Measured energy of " Gelaprime A of 3½ inch diameter in a 4 inch hole = 6.9 million ft-lbs/ft
Measured energy of " Gelaprime A of 3½ inch diameter in a 4 inch hole = 6.9 million ft-lbs/ft

35.9 - 6.9
% more energy utilization = ----------- x 100 = 420%

(c) Production requirements

Application of large diameter drills with high rate of penetration becomes indispensable to meet high production
requirements. The same production could be achieved with smaller diameter holes but the number of drill machines
required would be abnormally high.


The most critical among geometric parameters of blasting is the burden, which has the greatest influence on
fragmentation. For any particular geological setting, there is an optimum burden for which the volume of well-
fragmented and loosened rock is maximum.

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If burden is too large, shock wave remains incapable of extending radial cracking upto the free face and heave
energy is unable to provide adequate displacement. Gasses are bottled up within the blast holes for period of time,
which results in rapid decay of effective borehde pressure.

On the other hand, if the burden is too low, fracturing by shock increases and breakage by heave energy decreases
and much of heave energy is lost as air blast.

Thus, the optimum fragmentation burden is that which allows the gasses to losses virtually all of their energies by
the time they escape into the atmosphere without producing any air blast, with minimum objectionable side effects,
like toe, air blast, ground vibrations etc.

Optimum Burden B = 37.8 (Pe/Pr) 1/3 x d

Pe = Density of Explosive
Pr = Density of rock
d = Dia of Hole (mm)
For lime stone quarry B = 0.024 x d + 0.85 other formula

B = --------

K = 20 - 35
B = Burden in feet
D = Dia in Inches
CMRI equation (Pal Roy 93)

De 5.93 L ½
B= H x ------- x ------- + 0.37 -----

Where B = Burden (M)

S = Spacing (M)
H = Bench Height (M)
De = Dia of Explosives (MM)
Dh = Dia of Hole (MM)
RQD = Rock quality designation
= 100 (0.1λ + 1) e -0.1 x λ
λ = No. of bedding per meter
L = Loading density Kglm
C = charge factor Kg/M3
Thumb Rule B = 20 - 30 times dia of hole.

Spacing must be large enough to prevent excessive overlap and over break zones behind adjacent holes but just
small enough to give a relatively even distribution of Explosives energy in the rock to be broken.

An interesting conclusion of the study conducted by the Department of Mining Engineering, Banaras Hindu
University was that, at Burdens smaller than optimum fragmentation burden, the fragmentation was finer even at S/B
value of 5.0 compared to the results obtained at optimum and greater than optimum fragmentation burden with
smaller S/B values of even 1.0.

For Lime Stone

S = 0.9 B + 0.91
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Sub - Drilling
Effective sub drilling of about 8.d or 0.3 x B has been found to be satisfactory. In dipping faces, sub drilling of 10.d
to 12.d may be necessary in front row because of the excessive toe burden. Sub drilling beyond 12.d rarely succeeds
in pulling heavy toe. Instead it tends to make the situation worse.

Optimum Ratio of Toe Burden

------------------------------------- = 40
Hole Dia

The gaseous energy of an Explosives column will be utilised only if stemming is proper. It should be around 0.7 x

Depth of Hole
It mainly depends upon the size of machinery, but for better blast results depth D = 2.1 - 2.25 B (B is Burden)

Delay Initiation Sequences

In multi row blasting, various delay initiation sequences are possible. They are :
1. Instantaneous
2. Row Delay
3. V, V1, V2 pattern

Delay Initiators commonly used are :

1. Electric delay detonators (ms) in conjunction with detonating cord down lines and/or Trunk lines. Delay
detonators are tied to down lines of individual holes or to trunk line.
2. Cord Relays (Detonating Relays) in conjunction with detonating cord trunklines and down lines.
3. Down-the-hole non-electric delay initation system such as NONEL/ Raydet with of without additional surface
4. Use of electric delay detonators in conjunction with sequential blasting machine.
5. Combination of 3 and 4.

The success of blasts using electric delay detonators largely depends on its accuracy, quality and satisfactory
functioning of these detonators. Only II delay periods (0-10) are available in short delay detonators (ms) which
greatly restricts the blast size, especially if one plans to use v or vi patterns or is required to provide a delay interval
higher than their nominal values, thus warranting a need to skip one or two delay numbers.

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In cord relays, the blasting engineer has a very simple and versatile tool, which helps him carry out big blasts using
large number of rows and yet ensuring adequate delay interval provided for. The probability of a misfire in a blast
using cord relays is rather remote, because, while blasting, with detonating relays, additional surface detonation
paths are always provided for the blast holes thus ensuring trouble free blasts. the pros and cons of the various
initiation sequences mentioned earlier are discussed below.

1. Instantaneous Blasts : Figure shows a multirow blast where are no delays in the surface hookup. All
boreholes detonate more or less simultaneously. Except the first row, the back rows cannot effectively breakout
and move in a forwardly direction. They crater up towards the only free face available, viz. bench surface. Such
blasts results in poor fragmentation, tight muck piles, excessive fly rock and ground vibration/air blast. This
method is not recommended.

2. Row Delay : Most blasters prefer this method for ease of tying-in. In this method, individual rows in a blast are
delayed in a sequence, (figure) so that the front row fires first and then the back rows in a sequence, thus
creating free face for the individual rows. Though lot of forward movement of broken rock is achieved in this
method. The muck pile is generally very loose and scattered. Simultaneous detonation of all holes in a row,
results in high charge weights per delay resulting in excessive ground vibrations and often back break is
considerable because of simultaneous detonation of all charges in the back row. This result in uneven walls and
slope stability problems, modified row delay is shown in figure, which reduces, side-tear. Staggered hole
patterns give marginally better fragmentation as compared to in-line patterns figure.

3. V, V1, V2 Patterns : These Pattern are far superior, to row delays. These result in superior fragmentation due to
reduce hole burdens and increased spacing at the time of hole initiation and also due to inflight collision of
broken rock during its movement. For example, in square pattern where holes are drilled S = B initiation in a 'V'
sequence results in holes getting effectively staggered and also the effective spacing (se) to effective burden
(Be) ration viz Se/Be is equal to 2 and Be reduces to a value equal to approximately 0.7B. In this sequence,
though fragmentation is superior, forward dis-placement of rock is slightly restricted resulting in heaping up at
the centre of the face. This can be overcome by using patterns such as modified square V of square/staggered
V1/V2. The delayed action of holes in the back row reduces over break ensuring increased wall stability.

The best available pattern is one where the holes are drilled (staggered) on a equilateral triangle pattern. This in
a drilled spacing to burden ration of approximately 1.16. It has been observed that an effective spacing (Se) to
Burden (Be), ratio of about 3.5" is achieved with holes drilled on an equilateral triangle grid and fired using a
V1 initiation sequence.

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Drilling (staggered) equilateral triangular pattern require more operator skill and supervision as compared to in-
line patterns. Clear marking of the hole positions in advance by a responsible person would help the drillers
immensely. Fig. gives various delay patterns discussed above.


Flyrock in open pit blasting usually means the unexpected/undesired outward projection of rock mass from blasting.
Flyrock should be differentiated from 'throw' which now a days can be fairly controlled to produce a desired shape
of the muck-pile for efficient loading. The Flyrock generated as such often poses a serious problem to the users of
Explosives, as not only the mine equipment are at risk, but also the personal safety and adjacent property are

Cause / Formation of Flyrock

Many factors could contribute to the occurrence of undesired fly rock, like :
i) Front Row Burden : Flyrock can be ejected from front row blast holes where insufficient burden exists either
at the collar or at the toe. Reduced collar burden often occurs with vertical drilling in an inclined face to take care of
the desired toe burden; on the other hand sufficient toe burden; could occur where the face has been under-cut or
where excessive blast-hole deviation has occurred in angle drilling (see figure)

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ii) Stemming Depth/Stemming Material : The collar region is usually fractured before hand due to back-break
from previous blast or due to sub-grade blasting from the bench above. As the stemming depth decreases, a larger
proportion of explosion gases become available for premature ejection of this pre-fractured rock.

The stemming material acts to confine the explosion gases to perform the useful work before venting. With
inefficient stemming material the gases stream-up the blast-hole prematurely resulting in fly rock formation.

iii) Initiation Sequence : Progressive relief of burden in forward direction through use of inter-row delays is
essential for optimum fragmentation and muck-pile looseness. However if the inter-row delay intervals are not
adequately designed then the rear rows of holes may crater upward in absence of forward displacement; this will
create substantial fly rock. Similar phenomena can happen when blast-holes are initiated out of sequence (back row
initiated before front row).

iv) Blast Pattern/Blast Shape : When Explosives charge column is overburdened, vertical crate ring can take
place causing fly rock. Also when the borehole depth to burden ratio is around unity, forward displacement is
inhibited due to higher stiffness length may have to be reduced to accommodate the necessary quantity of charge in
the hole, leading to the fly rock from the collar region.

If the shape of the blasting round is such that length to width ratio fir the bench is less than 1.5, the rock on both
sides of the blast area has a constraining of drag effect on forward displacement thus resulting in fly rock from rear

v) Major Geological Faults : Where Explosives charges intersect or are in close proximity to the major
geological faults or planes of weakness, the high pressure explosion gases preferentially stream out along these
weakness plans. The concentrations of gas pressure energy in these areas lead to fly rock formation.

Range of Fly Rock

One of the most extensive study of the distance that fly rock is thrown by uncovered Explosives has been conducted
by Lundborg. His work based on the observations that the throw distance and eject velocity is proportional to the
specific charge or powder factor. Large specific charges produce greater throw distances.

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Since most production blasting involves holes of 100mm. to 250mm. in diameter, the maximum throw can be 500 to

As an example for a specific charge of 0.56 Kg/m3 and for hole diameter 113mm, 150mm and 250mm the maximum
throw of fly rocks will be 250m, 750m and 1020m respectively.

For a specific charge of 0-75 Kg/m3 for hole diameter of 32mm (secondary blasting) the maximum throw will be
246 m.

Control of Flyrock
It should be possible to control the fly rock formation to acceptable levels with an appropriate blast design followed
by adequate supervision during charging. the major parameters associated with controlling fly rock include.

i) Blast-Hole Location/Charge Configuration :

To avoid the irregularities on the front row burden it is important to ensure that the holes are correctly collared with
respect to the back-break/inclination of the face and also that digging alongside the initiation face well controlled.

Regarding the charge configurations it is often misunderstood to assume that under charging the front row holes
solves all problems associated with fly rock. Inadequate forward displacement of the front row burden arising out of
the under charging of these holes result in fly rock from vertical catering of the rear holes. It is therefore important
that the charging of the front holes should be critically determine with some tolerance for

forward throw to avoid harmful fly rock from the back. When the blast hold diameter is increased say from 100 mm
to 200 mm, the linear packing density of fully coupled Explosives increases by the square of the ratio of the
diameters. In such cases change in the explosives charge distribution particularly in the collar portion is a must to
take care of the increased available gas volume with increased packing density. Where permanent the bedding planes
are encountered, deck charging should be used to reduce the concentration of charge located directly adjacent to
these planes of weakness.

ii) Stemming Medium : Where fly rock posses a serious problem, the stemming length should not be less than
the hole burden. Also an effective stemming material like crushed angular rock should be used to prevent premature
venting of explosion gases through the stemming column. the fine drill cuttings commonly used in most of the
opencast operations have been found to be a poor stemming medium as far as the fly rock control is concerned.

iii) Initiation Pattern/Sequence : The forward fly rock could be fairly controlled to the commonly used 'inline
open loop' pattern. The maximum inter-row delay interval consistent with the absence of cut off helped in
minimising the fly rock formation. As a thumb rule an inter-row delay of 4-8ms/m of burden could be used for this
purpose. Adequate care should be taken while connecting the delay devices in the holes/rows and the initiation
sequence properly checked before firing to avoid initiation pf blast holes out of sequence.

iv) Blast Pattern/Shape : Experience has shown that blasts designed on a face length to width ratio in the range of
3 to 4 produces minimum fly rock. In most of our opencast mines as the face length available is limited; it may be
useful to restrict to a maximum of 4 rows for large diameter holes.

v) Protection Cover : Protective covering of blast with blasting mats, scrap conveyor belting of truck tyres etc.
can be used when there is a serious need to drastically reduce or even eliminate the incidence of fly rock. However
as this poses a constraint on the overall rock movement, chances of fly rock due to cratering of rear charges could be
there if the blast is not properly designed.

Fly rock also result from secondary blasting by pop shooting. This can happen if the charge is too heavy of if the
blast hole is incorrectly positioned in the burden. The blast hole should be directed as locate the charge in the centre
of the boulder. The correct powder factor should also be determined and adhered to in routine secondary blasting.

Using the guidelines given above, it is hoped that the quarry managers should be able to control the fly rock to
acceptable levels from both primary and secondary blasting thereby avoiding expensive losses.
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Optimum Blasting for Indian Geomining Conditions, Suggestive Standards & Guidelines :
Ground vibrations is considered as one of the most undesirable side effects of rock residential buildings in the
vicinity of mining operations and thus may lead to conformation and hamper normal production of the mine.
Presently huge amount of explosive usage in mining sectors coupled with urban sprawls encroaching the area of
mining operation, has called for much better control of blast produced ground vibrations due to greater public
environmental consciousness. Broadly, ground vibrations may be controlled by using the following safety measures.

(a) Use Delay Detonators

(b) Optimization of the firing time by trials
(c) Proper Blast Design
(d) Lower Charge Per Delay
(e) Direction of Initiation


This equation considers cylindrical Explosives geometry for long cylindrical charges in which any linear dimension
should be scaled with square root of the charge weight. the equation is of the form :
USBM : V = K (D/Q½)-B

Where, V is the peak particle velocity, D is the distance of the measuring transducer and Q is the maximum charge
weight per delay. K and B are site constants to be determined by regression analysis.

Control Measures :
(a) Use long stemming column in blast holes
(b) Use electric detonators rather than detonating fuse as trunk line
(c) Use 150 mm thick cover of stand of drill cuttings
(d) Avoid blasting in cloudy weather
(e) Carry out blasting at mid day
(f) Avoid blasting when strong winds are blowing towards the residences

Known methods and techniques to reduce Ground Vibrations :

The following methods and Techniques have been successful in reducing ground vibration and resulting annoyance
complaints :
1. Reduce weight of Explosives per delay. this is perhaps the greatest factor affecting the amplitude of particle
velocity. Any decrease in amount of explosives through smaller hole diameter, reduced bench height and or
decking will reduce the probability of damage.
2. Reduce explosives confinement by :
a. Reducing burden and spacing.
b. Reducing buffers in front of face holes.
c. Reducing stemming, but not to the degree enhancing Air Blast and/or Rock Fly.
d. Reducing sub-drilling.
e. Reducing Hole depth.
f. Using a blast design that produces maximum relief: this means using large delays between holes or rows of
holes. Optimum delay intervals can be determined and substantiated with the use of high-speed motion picture
g. Allowing at least one free face to blast.
3. Whenever possible, the progression of detonating holes or a row of holes through millisecond delay intervals should
progress away from the structure.
4. Use larger delays, where geological conditions in conjunction with initially system permit.
5. Where possible, keep the total lapsed time of the entire blast below 1-second duration.
6. Use electric millisecond detonators with sequential blasting machines or an initiating system with an adequate
number of delay intervals preferably, with down the hole delays causing bottom charge and deck charge blast
separated by delays.
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7. It has been using pre-splitting the production blast and by using air decking the ground vibration is reduced

Threshold Value: (Ground Vibration)

DGMS vide the circular No. 7 Dt. 29.8.97 have specified permissible standards of peak particle velocity (in millimeter
per second) depending type of structure and dominant excitatory frequency. Permissible peak particle velocity at the
foundation level of structure in mining areas is:

Type of Structure PPV in mm/sec at a foundation level of Structure at a frequency.

<8Hz 8-25 Hz >25Hz
Building structure not belonging to
1.Demostic House structure kucha
5 10 15
brick &cement
2. Industrial building RCC&
10 25 25
Framed Structure
3.Objects of historical importance
2 5 10
and sensitive structure
Building belonging to owners with
limited span to life
10 15 25
1.Domastic houses structure Kucha
bricks & cement
2.Industrial Building
15 25 50
RCC & framed structure

Drilling and Blasting for Tunneling In Rocks :

Tunneling in rocks is currently performed mainly by blasting, as this method only is capable of providing
sufficiently high effectiveness and economics in the construction of tunnel in tough rocks.

Tunneling by tunnel borers is considered to be less effective especially as regards the construction of tunnels of large
cross sectional areas.

Drifting /Tunnel Driving Methods in Rocks :

The shot holes in a stone drift or tunnel are arranged in a particular form or pattern. The drifting pattern, holes are
generally divided into three groups, e.g. Cut holes, Easer and Trimmers.

Cut holes : Shot holes in this group are generally longer (approx. 15 cm) than the shot holes of other group. These
holes are fired first to created free face for the shots of easers. Since these holes first make the opening in the face,
they are prime responsible for the depth of pull.

Easers : The shot holes of this group are placed in the drift around the cut holes in two or more rings depending on
the cross - sectional area. These holes ease the burden between the succeeding shot holes to enlarge the excavation
area of the drift.

Trimmers : The shot holes of this group are place around the easer which are fired at the last to make the final
shape of the drift.

The following type of cuts commonly use in Drifting / Tunneling :

a) Cone / Pyramid / Diamond cut : Four or Six cut holes are driven at the middle of the face which converge at
the end to form either a Cone or a Pyramid or diamond shape. Maximum concentration of charge is at the apex of
these cut holes, which are fired first to create a free face for the rest of the shot, which are fired next with the help of
b) Wedge Cut : Horizontal cut holes are driven in inclined at an angle less than 45 degree to the face towards the
centre. Like Cone / Pyramid cut maximum concentration of charge at the apex of these cut holes, which are fired
first to create a free face for the rest of the shot, which are fired next with the help of delays.
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c) Parallel holes cut (Burn Cut, Cylinder Cut, Coromant Cut ) : A cluster of parallel shot holes are drilled at
perpendicular to the face to blast out a cavity in the centre of the heading. Some of the holes are heavily charge with
explosives while others are kept empty to provided free face for reflection of shock waves. There is specific
geometrical relationship between the diameter of empty hole and spacing between the centres of empty hole and
charged holes in a given rock, which gives the essential condition of free breakage.
d) Drag Cut / Draw Cut : These type of cut is most suitable for the laminated rocks for "controlled blasting " in
drivage of smaller cross-sectional area to brake the rock along the cleavage planes.

Despite their limitations stated above, burn cuts offer the advantages: The advance per round does not depend
upon the working space available for drilling blast holes at acute angles to the face. (With a wedge cut, the width the

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Tunnel restricts the apical angle and, hence, the advance per round, specially in tunnels with small cross-sectional
Design of Burn Cut holes - The overriding principle of all burn cut designs is as follows: Burden on loaded holes
are selected so the volume of the rock broken by any hole cannot be greater than what would occupy the void space
created by either the burn hole or subsequent holes firing. In this calculation one must also consider the fact that
when rock web breaks between holes, it will occupy a larger space. In other words, the swell factor of the blasted
rock must be considered.

One of the parameters for good advance of the blasted round is the diameter of the large empty hole. The larger the
diameter, the deeper the round may be drilled, and a greater advance can be expected. One of the most common
causes of short advance is too small an empty hole in relation to the hole depth. An advance of approximately 95%
can be expected for a hole depth of 4 m, and one empty hole with 102 mm diameter. If several empty holes are used,
a fictitious diameter has to be calculated. The fictitious diameter of the opening may be calculated in accordance
with the formula D = d √n, where D = fictitious empty large hole diameter; d = diameter of empty large holes; n =
number of holes.

In order to calculate the burden in the first square, the diameter of the large hole is used in the case of one large hole,
and the fictitious diameter in the case of several large holes.

The distance between the blasthole and the large empty hole should not be greater than 1.5 times the diameter of the
larger hole for the opening to be clean blasted. If the distance is longer, there is merely breakage, and when the
distance is shorter, there is a great risk that the blasthole and empty hole will meet.

So the position of the blastholes in the 1st square is expressed as: a =1.5d, where a = C- C distance between the large
hole and the blasthole, d = diameter of the large hole. In the case of several large holes, the relation is expressed as: a
=1.5D Where a = C- C distance between the centre point of the large holes and the blasthole, D = fictitious diameter.
Therefore, side of the 1st square w1 = a√2.

Position of blastholes in the 2nd square of the cut located at a distance of B1 from one of the sides of the 1st square, in
such a way that B1 = w1 and C-C distance between the centre point of the large holes and the blasthole in the 2nd
square is 1.5w1. Therefore, side of the 2nd square w2 = 1.5w1√2.

Similarly, blastholes in the 3rd square of the cut located at a distance of B2 from side of 2nd square, in such a way
that B2 = w2 and C-C distance between the centre point of the large holes and the blasthole 3rd square is 1.5w2.
Therefore, side of the 3rd square w3 = 1.5w2√2. Similar calculation be followed for 4th square as well.

The holes closest to the empty holes must be charged carefully. Too low a charge concentration in the hole may not
break the rock, while too high a charge concentrate of ion may throw the rock against the opposite wall of the large
hole with such high a velocity that the broken rock will be recompacted there, and not blown out through the large
hole. Full advance is then not obtained. Generally, in average blastability rock, for 34 to 37 mm dia. blastholes in the
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1st square are charged at a charge concentration of 0.5kg/m; for 2nd square blastholes charge concentration of
0.75kg/m; for 3rd square blastholes charge concentration of 1.15kg/m and for 4th square blastholes charge
concentration of 1.25kg/m should be used.

Organisation of blast hole drilling:

1. Making of blast hole: It should be made as accurately as possible, particularly the line holes. This can be
effected by template, or marking use of spray paint as convenient. A very efficient procedure of pointing holes
on the working face with a light projector with an optical attachment consisting of metallic casing, lenses and a
frame that receives a metallic plate carrying the location of the blast holes. Each hole is represented on the plate
as an orifice 1mm in dia. The projector is placed at a distance from the working face equal to 1.5-3 times the
height of the working. Source of the light is a lamp of 1000W. The apparatus is located using two marks.
Spotted on the face is an advance light spot projected through the plate on the face correspond to the holes to be

2. Charging and shooting of blast holes: To reduce the charging time it is possible to employ composite
explosive charges consisting of several cartridges placed whether in paper shell or PVC pipes. The use of
composite charge, which is 5-10 times the carting length, shortens the charging time by 50-60%.

3. Parallel wiring is generally used for firing shots from an electric power mains and series for a blasting machine.
In case of NONEL use of D-cord and electrical instantaneous detonators is fired with exploder.

4. Periphery holes: To control over break, effective decoupling is required. It can be done by,
(i) By using 25mm dia. Cartridge in 38mm dia. Hole.
(ii) By using comparative weaker explosive
(iii) By keeping air gap between two explosives cartridges by using hollow bamboo spacer of 150mm long.

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Typical charges for primary blasting (source-CMRI bulletin):
Calculation of optimum charge and some design parameters is the pre-requisite to the primary blasting. The charge
ratio and charge per hole would depend on many geologic and rock parameters. However, as an initial
approximation, the chart given can be used which may subsequently be changed subject to the performance of the

Table: Estimation of various charges for different Hole Dia., Cart. Dia. and Hole depths.

Dia. of Dia. of cart. Depth of Burden Spacing Vol. of Charge/hole(k Charge ratio
hole (mm) hole (m) (m) (m) rock/hole g) (cu.m/kg)
(mm) (cu.m)
1.0 0.6 0.7 0.42 0.13 3.23
1.5 0.8 1.0 1.20 0.39 3.08
32 25 2.0 1.0 1.2 2.40 0.65 3.69
2.5 1.1 1.3 3.57 0.91 3.92
3.0 1.2 1.3 4.68 1.17 4.00
2.0 1.0 1.2 2.4 0.75 3.20
2.5 1.2 1.4 4.2 1.20 3.50
38 32 3.0 1.4 1.6 6.72 1.80 3.73
3.5 1.5 1.6 8.40 2.25 3.73
4.0 1.6 2.0 12.80 5.00 2.56
63 50 5.0 2.4 2.4 24.00 8.00 3.00
6.0 2.4 2.8 40.32 13.00 3.10
5.0 2.0 2.4 24.00 13.90 1.72
100 83 6.0 2.4 2.6 37.44 19.46 1.92
8.0 3.0 3.5 84.00 41.70 2.01
10.0 3.5 4.2 147.0 69.50 2.12
6.0 2.5 3.0 45.0 31.25 1.44
150 125 8.0 3.5 4.2 117.6 68.75 1.71
10.0 4.0 4.8 192.0 100.0 1.92
12.0 4.5 5.0 270.0 125.0 2.62
8.0 3.6 4.5 129.6 91.63 1.41
200 175 10.0 4.2 5.0 210.0 141.6 1.48
12.0 4.5 5.4 291.6 183.26 1.59
15.0 5.0 6.0 450.0 253.23 1.74
10.0 4.5 5.4 243.0 187.5 1.30
250 200 12.0 5.0 6.4 360.0 262.5 1.37
15.0 5.5 6.5 536.25 350.0 1.53
20.0 6.0 7.0 840.0 512.5 1.64

Loading density of explosives (source: CMRI bulletin): Loading density of explosives means the weight (in kg) of
explosive charge per meter of borehole. It is thus different for different hole dia. and explosives due to varying

Hole Diameter Slurry / Emulsion ANFO

(mm) (Kg)/m (Kg)/m
100 7-9 8
150 20-22 16
165 24-26 18-20
250 55-60 40-45
310 85-87 65-68
320 90-95 70-74
350 110-112 84-86

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Secondary Blasting (Source CMRI bulletin): Secondary blasting is used to break oversize boulders, which appear in
a primary blast. It is achieved by either ‘Pop shooting ‘or ‘Plaster Shooting’.

Pop shooting: In this boulder blasting technique, the explosives charge is placed in a drill hole, and confined with
clay to the collar. The hole length may be slightly more than half of the thickness of boulders. For larger boulders,
several holes may be drilled keeping approximate spacing of 0.6m. For small boulders, the hole may be drilled at the
centre of the boulder. A pop shooting generally creates fly rocks and thus it is advisable to keep a min. distance of
nearly 200m from nearest structures.

Plaster shooting: Plaster shooting (mud shooting) is a commercially used method for boulder blasting. In this
method, a thin layer of mud is placed on the boulder and explosives cartridge is firmly placed in to the mud. The
charge is then covered hemi spherically with some handful of mud to make a wave shaper. The average charge ratio
1.0-1.5kg of explosive for every cubic meter of boulder size. Plaster shooting creates much noise, which may lead to
human psychological effect and may be heard with in a periphery of 1km.

Coal blasting Underground:

Thumb rules for u/g coal blasting:
A) Cut face blasting:
1. No. of holes For each 1 square meter area = 1 hole
2. Depth of hole 15cm less than cut length
3. Charge per hole 40% of hole length
4. Stemming 60% of hole length
5. Explosive P1 type for degree 1 mines
P3 type for degree 2/3 mines

B) Solid blasting (wedge cut pattern):

1. No. of holes a)For normal conditions,0.7 sq.mt = 1 hole
b)Tougher conditions, 0.5 sq.mt = 1 hole
2. Maximum depth of cut holes 0.7 x height of gallery
3. Depth of other holes = 0.8 x cut hole length
4. Charge per hole = 40% of hole length
5. Stemming = 60% of hole length
6. Explosive = P-5 type Belgex Coal-V
7. Max. Possible pull = 0.8 x cut hole length

Points of Remember : 'Concepts of Blasting'

1. 'Freedom to Move : Insitu Coal needs free passage to move out during blasting, i.e. Free face to be created
either by
(a) CCM - Cut face blasting
(b) Creating wedge opening by drilling and blasting a few additional holes preferably at centre of face.

2. Cut Face Blasting : Holes need to be shorter by 15 cm from cut depth because explosives energy released
during blasting hits in a crater shape and the point of concentrated energy is 15 cm beyond the end of
cartridges, where free face should be available for breakage of coal.

3. Solid Blasting :
(a) To create an initial cut, holes need to be drilled in inclined position so as to provide direction and force for
coal to move outwardly, to create free face for other holes. (Lever action theory)
(b) Wider the opening (i.e. Free face) easier it would be for other holes to perform better. It is advisable to give
zero delay for 6 cut holes in the centre.
(c) Considering Beam theory, hole length beyond 70% of seam height would not bring expected result. Rather
long sockets will be left and explosive energy will be wasted and P.F. will be reduced.

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(d) Stemming less than 60% of hole length or un proper packing may not be able to sustain the volume /
pressure of gases generated during blasting and explosive energy will be wasted in form of a blown out
(e) Cut holes should be charged more as compared to other holes.
(f) Initiation sequence should be maintained so as that cut holes give way first, nearest hole next and farthest
holes last.

Cut Face Blasting : A typical round of hole used in blasting an under cut face is shown below:

(Numbers show sequence of firing rounds)

Depth of Hole - 1.5 Meters
No. of Holes - 8
Charge / Holes - 300 g
Total yield of Coal - 14 tones
Yield per kg - 6.00 tones

Off - The Solid :

The technique of blasting off-the solid (BOS) has been found to be simpler, more economical and less hazardous
that the conventional method of breaking coal with machine cutting and blasting. Mechanised methods using BOS
with scraper loaders and side loaders have already proved successful. Several long wall mining faces employing
BOS are also tired out. The hazards associated with blasting off the solid in gassy coalmines, are such that the usual
permitted explosives of the category P1 and P3 are not considered safe. Solarcoal-5 belongs to P5 category and has
been designed to meet the exacting safety requirements in blasting coal off-the solid. The delay detonators, required
for use with this type of explosives, must be non-incentive. Typical rounds of shot holes wedge cut and fan cut
patterns, and a schematic diagram indicating blasting pattern and initiation sequence in long wall faces are shown on
the following pages. For effective blasting off-the solid, full face firing in a heading is necessary both form safety as
well as productivity point of view indigenously available Schaffer type 350 and Rhino 25 shot exploders are
designed to meet this requirement of BOS.

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Recommended Pattern for Seam Height 2.6 m

Face Size 4.6 x 2.6 Total Holes = 15
Type of Number Depth of Explosive / hole Delay Stemming
Holes Holes Number
Cut Holes 6 1.7 m (5.6) 3 555 Z 60-65%
Other 6 1.6 m (5') 3 555 I 60%
Holes 3 1.6 m (5') 3 555 II 60%
Total Explosives per Expected Pull Expected Coal Powder Factor Detonator
Round (Insitu) T/Kg. Factor
8.32 Kg. 1.27 m (4') 19.74 M. T. 2.37 1.31
Remark 1.* 2-4 holes to be increased if encouraged with shale /stone bend.
2. ** Full packaging with sand clay cartridges gives 10% better results.

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Table : Types of Permitted Explosives for different degrees of gassiness.

Degree of Classification of Gassiness Type of Permitted

Gassiness of Coal Explosives
I < 0.1% of gas in the general body of air and P1 / P3 / P5
rate of emission of such gas is less than 1 cu.
m/t of coal production
II > 0.1% of gas in the general body of air and P3 / P5
rate of emission of such gas is greater than
but less than 10 cu. m/t of coal production
III Rate of emission of the gas is greater than 10 P3 / P5
cu. m/t pf coal production

DGMS (India) Stipulations on Maximum Permissible Charge in a Short Hole, Delay Interval Etc.

1. Explosives:

Types of Explosives Degree of gassiness / Type of Max

Application Permissible charge per
Shot hole (gms)

P1 Degree 1 mines, 800

Cut face
P3 Degree I, II & III mines, 1000
Cut face
P5 Degree I-‘BOS’, 1000
P5 Degree II &III-‘BOS’ 565

2. Delay Detonator :
(a) While using non-incentive delay detonators in ‘BOS’ application, the maximum delay period between the
first and last shot in a degree I and II Gassy coal seams will not exceed 150 ms.

(b) While using non-incentive delay detonators in ‘BOS’ application the maximum delay period between the
1st & last shot in Degree III gassy coal seams will not exceed 100 ms.

(c) The delay period between 2 consecutive shots with different delay numbers will not exceed 60 ms.

3. Distance between 2 adjacent shots with different delay numbers will not come closer than 0.6 m at the
explosives charges ends.


Explosives are also used for a variety of other applications some of which are listed below :
1. Agriculture.
2. Breaking blast furnace hearths / salamander blasting.
3. Cutting dimensional stones.
4. Demolitions.
5. Metal breaking.
6. Metal forming.
7. Salvaging scraps and wrecks.
8. Seismic prospecting.
9. Presplitting, smooth wall blasting etc.
10. Underwater blasting.
11. Roads & railway Construction.
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1. While storing transporting of handling explosives, do not smoke or have in your possession matches, naked
light or apparatus of any kind capable of producing flame or spark.
2. Do not keep explosives and detonators in the same container or magazine. Explosives and detonators must be
transported separately to the blasting site.
3. Do not use tools made of iron or steel for opening cases or for making holes in primer cartridges. Use
implements of hard wood, brass or other non-sparking material.
4. Do not break an explosives cartridge.
5. Check the condition of shot holes with a scraper/stemming rod before inserting cartridges.
6. Do not force a detonator into a cartridge.
7. Do not try to soften hardened explosives by heating over fire or by rolling cartridges on the ground.
8. Do not fire a blast until you have made sure that all surplus explosives have been removed, and all persons,
vehicles and equipment are at a safe distance.
9. Post guards with red flags around the site to prevent persons approaching the danger area inadvertently while
the shots are being fired.
10. Keep primed cartridges separately and away from other explosives until they are loaded into the holes.

Firing Electrically :
1. Test the exploder before use.
2. Stop all blasting work during an electrical storm and clears the working area of all men.
3. While straightening the lead wires, do not hold the electric detonator by the tube. Grip the wires about 10cm
from the detonator with one hand and smooth them out with the other. This will avoid any pull on the fuse head.
4. While charging and stemming, take care to avoid damaging the insulation of the lead wires of the electric
detonator, which may cause misfires.
5. Twin-core cables have top conductors and care should be taken to make sure that the stands of one conductor
are mot in contract with those of the other. It is good practice to have the exposed ends of the conductors
staggered in relation to each other.
6. While making connections, the bare ends of the conductors should be twisted together tightly for a length of
about 3 cm. The conductors should be thoroughly cleaned since greasy of dirty wires give a poor connection
and may cause misfires.
7. To ensure good insulation and avoid short circuits in wet conditions use insulating tape.
7. The key of the exploder should always be in the possession of the shot fire.
8. All connections should be made by the shot fire himself; this work should be not entrusted to any other person.
9. Before returning to the blast site, remove the exploder key, disconnect the cable form the exploder and short
circuit the cable by twisting together the bare ends of the two conductors.
10. Keep the exploder in a dry place.
12. Do not leave bare conductors on wet ground.
13. Take precautions against stray currents while blasting near electrically operated machines or high voltage power

There are many circumstances under which a misfire can occur and there are official regulations covering the
treatment of misfires. These should be strictly adhered to and nothing in this chapter should be construed as altering
or amending such regulations. All misfires should be treated with greatest care and all operations dealing with them
should be entrusted only to experienced conscientious and careful men.

No person should be allowed to approach a misfire until either it has exploded or a sage period has elapsed. This
period should be at least 30 minutes with safety use initiation and at least 5 minutes with electric shot firing.

1. Misfires with Safety Fuse Initiation :

In safety fuse firing faulty cutting of safety fuse, loose crimping, use of non-waterproof fuse in watery conditions
can lead to misfires.

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2. Misfires with Electric Shot Firing :
In electric shot firing faulty connections, detonators left-off unconnected, lead wires becoming bare during stemming
internally shot-circuited cable / damage in the insulation, inadequate firing current due to failure of the exploder to
reach the rated output or the number of detonators being greater that that can be fired by the exploder, current
leakage and other factors can cause misfires.

3. Misfires with Detonating Fuse :

While firing with detonating fuse incorrect method of limiting the detonating fuse, loop cross-over, approach of a
different branch of detonating fuse, improper joints and branch-line failure, use of detonators with too long a delay
interval, wrong sequencing of shots and improper handling / use if delay detonator-relays could lead to cut-offs of
detonating fuse.

4. Misfire with Exploders :

A large number of misfires are generally caused by the use of faulty exploders and use of wrong type of exploder for
a given purpose; Maintenance of exploders is very essential to obtain the output. Following are the causes of
misfires with exploders :
a. Inadequate exploder capacity
b. Faulty exploder-defective generator/conductor
c. Poor contact in rotating crank type exploders
d. Exhausted cells
e. Faulty indicator

Wherever possible, it is sager to fire the explosives using a fresh primer than to attempt to dislodge it and recover the
cartridges from the debris. However, before deciding on the repriming of the explosives, consideration should be
given to the possibility of excessive cracks in rocks, which may occur because of the relief of the burden of the
misfired hole, by adjacent shots.


In the event of explosives becoming frozen, cartridges may he safety thawed either by placing them in the sun of, if
necessary, by heating in a suitably designed vessel. Such a vessel should consist of two zinc sheet containers with a
space between them in which water at a maximum temperature of 71O C is poured. The outer vessel and the cover
should be lagged with non-conducting material to prevent heat loss. The frozen cartridges are placed in the inner
vessel where they should be left until thawing is complete.

Do not attempt to soften cartridges by heating them over an open fire or by any other improper means. Under no
circumstances should Explosives in frozen condition be used for blasting.


CMRI carried out substantial experiments to obtain a general guideline of blasting in hot holes to make use of huge
amount of coal which would otherwise be lost or un recovered, The following stepwise approach may be followed
for the successful operation :
Step-1 : Select the number of holes properly so that the total blasting operation should not exceed 2 h from
charging of first hole.
Step-2 : Measures the temperature of the holes
Step-3 : Use water at least 12 h before blasting to flush hot holes till the temperature comes down below 80oC
Step-4 : Record the temperature of holes at a regular interval of time.
Step-5 : Use a mixture of Bentonite, Sodium Silicate and Water in holes which do not retain water to seal micro-
fractures and cracks. Guar gum up 5 percent may be also be used for the same purpose.
Step-6 : Check before charging whether the detonating cord is detached from the main reel or not. If not, then
detach it immediately before charging operation starts.
Step-7 : Stemming operation should be done after charging all holes.

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Specific Gravity Broken Tonne/

Material Solid Tonne/ cu.m
(g/cc) cu.m.
Basalt 2.8 - 3.0 3.02 2.00
Coal-Anthracite 1.3 - 1.8 1.61 1.04
Coal-Bituminous 1.2 - 1.5 1.37 0.88
Diabase 2.6 - 3.0 2.78 1.85
Diorite 2.8 - 3.0 2.97 1.94
Dolomite 2.8 - 2.9 2.87 1.85
Gneiss 2.6 - 2.9 2.87 1.85
Granfte 2.6 - 2.9 2.72 1.78
Gypsum 2.3 - 3.3 2.78 1.85
Hematite 4.5- 5.3 4.86 3.21
Limestone 2.4 -2.9 2.64 1.68
Limonite 3.6 - 4.0 3.77 2.50
Magnesite 3.0 - 3.2 3.21 2.00
Magnetite 4.9 - 5.2 5.00 3.28
Marble 2.1 - 2.9 2.51 1.60
Mica-Schist 2.5 - 2.9 2.72 1.78
Porphyry 2.5 - 2.6 2.57 1.68
Quartzite 2.0 - 2.8 2.57 1.68
Salt-Rock 2.1 - 2.6 2.33 1.52
Sandstone 2.0 - 2.8 2.42 1.52
Shale 2.4 - 2.8 2.57 1.68
Silica Sand 2.2 - 2.8 2.57 1.68
State 2.5 - 2.8 2.72 1.78
Tale 2.6 - 2.8 2.64 1.78
Trap Rock 2.6 - 3.0 2.78 1.85


Source : CMRI Bulletin

Name of Ebl Esh Total Energy

Explosives (Cal/g) (Cal/g) (Cal/g)
Pentolite 490 234 724
(50% TNT + 50% PETN)
TNT 505 215 720
Pentolite 475 469 944
OCG 495 408 903
Emulsion 460 370 830
ANFO 500 340 840
Heavy ANFO 470 360 830


1. Use of L.O.X. in opencast Coal Mines :
Recently, there was an incident of fire with the use of L.O.X. under the following circumstances.

Blasting was done with L.O.X. in the overburden of the opencast workings if a coalmine. Old developed coal pillars
were being quarried. One of the shot holes in the overburden punctured into the underground working and as such it
could not be stemmed properly before blasting. L.O.X. cartridges in the inadequately stemmed hole were thus
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blasted without sufficient confinement. In all probability, a part of the charge which had not blasted, communication
down below and configurated to set the coal debris lying belowground in the gallery on fire.

In order to avert such situations, you are advised that L.O.X. shall not be used for blasting in overburden within 15
m of u\g workings in the coal seam immediately below or in the vicinity.
(Cir. Tech. 11/1979)

2. Adequacy of Ventilation while using Explosives in underground Metalliferous Mines :

During trials conducted for assessment of fume characteristics of new explosives formulations both from I.D.L. and
I.E.L. for use in underground Metalliferous Mines, it has been observed that unless ventilation is of High Standard,
Carbon Monoxide and or Nitrous fumes formed by blasting of practically all types of explosives above the
threshold/ceiling limits internationally accepted for the these noxious gases are met with for some time after the blast
and thus injurious to the health of the work persons in the vicinity.

In view of this it is advised that while using any explosive, be it NG-Based, AN Based or slurry, in underground
Metalliferous Mines the following precautions regarding ventilation should be observed :-

1) Adequate arrangements should be made to circulate such quantity of air upto the site of blasting as to ensure,
after every round of blast, dilution of Carbon Monoxide and Oxides of Nitrogen in the blasting fumes to less
than 50 parts per million and 5 parts per million respectively within a period of 5 minutes.

2) For drivages more than 50m long a suitable auxiliary ventilators should be provided to ensure at least
150m3/min ventilation air current within 4.5m of these faces.

In addition, in view of the difficulty of sampling and analyzing for CO and nitrous fumes as well as paucity of
suitable detector tubes for these gases no person should be allowed to re-enter the place where blasting has been
carried out unless the fumes are cleared and unless a period of at least 15 minutes has elapsed from the time of

3) Accidents due to inhalation of nitrous fumes :- The effect of inhalation of nitrous fumes on workers
employed belowground does not appear to have received adequate attention nor the dangers associated duly
recoganised. Instances have come to light recently where some belowground workers who were so affected died
shortly after. In all such cases, death was apparently taken to be due to bronchopneumonia where as in actual, it
was due to Broncho spasm due to inhalation of noxious fumes. Had the patients been treated for the later viz.,
noxious fumes by provision of oxygen etc., it is likely that their lives could have been saved. It is also to be
recoganised that the effect of inhalation nitrous fumes on different individuals may be different, depending
upon the concentration of the noxious fumes in the general body of air, degree of exposure and the constitution
of the individual. Thus, in some extreme, cases, even a week later. It is because of this time lag and similarly of
symptoms that such deaths are being recorded as natural deaths instead of recognising them as natural deaths
instead of recognizing them as occupational hazards.

An extract on this topic form ILO publication Occupational Health & Safety is reproduced below in this
connection for information :

"There is some doubt concerning the toxic actions of nitric oxide, but it is certain that nitrogen dioxide, with its
associated dinitrogen tetdioxide, is a powerful lung irritant and it is probable that the hazard form 'nitrous
fumes' is due mainly to this component. Exposure to high concentrations in the region of 100 - 500 ppm may
lead to sudden death from bronchospasm and respiratory failure. A more typical death arises from delayed
pulmonary oedema, the initial signs on exposure being no more than moderate irritation of the eyes and
respiratory tract. A third type of death may ensure several weeks after exposure and may be associated with
inflammatory changes termed broncholities fibrosa obliterans and thought to be due to an auto-immune
response or with bronchitis, pneumonia or other lung infections."

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In drawing the above to your notice, I am to request you to bring the same to the attention of all concerned,
more particularly to the Mine \ Hospital Doctors to the above occupational hazard and of the dire necessity of
treating such patients more for inhalation of noxious fumes rather than for bronchitis.
(Cir. Tech.7/1981)

In Coal shall be charged with water ampoules or with most sand of at least 0.6m in length at the bottom of the
9. Shelter- No person including shot firer shall take shelter within 100 meters of the quarry openings, and such
shelter shall be of an approved design.
10. Administrative control : The opencast working over underground part of working shall be under the
administrative and technical direction and control of the Manager and Agent.

4. Danger Associated with use of ANFO in pyrite bearing ores : In the United States of America Ammonium
Nitrate Fuel Oil (AN-FO) explosives were accidents occurred. It was thought that the accidents were caused by
misfired charges of AN-FO. The actual ore from the vicinity of the accidents and the ingredients used to
prepare the AN-FO charges onsite were examined. A thorough investigation into the matter revealed the
following :

"Ammonium Nitrate-Fuel Oil (AN-FO) mixtures are used as blasting agents in mining pyrite-bearing ores. The
temperature of these ores can increased by the continuous, though are times, oxidation weathering of the pyrite
and the reaction becomes self-sustained at 120 ±10O C.

The Bureau of Mines has conducted an investigation determine the reactivity of mixtures of AN-FO with pyrite
containing ferrous sulphate. The results of tests in a heated vessel simulating a hot borehole demonstrate that
small amounts of ferrous sulphate, a major product of pyrite weathering, initiate a self-sustained exothermic
reaction with AN-FO at 80OC.

Five percent by weight of urea was found sufficient prevent a reaction among the three ingredients, at least
within the limits of the test, which reached 180OC.Smaller amounts of urea and of potassium oxalate slowed
down the reaction and delayed its onset to higher temp but did not prevent it.

For fuller details about the investigations a reference may be made to USBM investigation report No. 8373 of

The purpose of bringing the above to your notice is that in case the mining activities under your control fall
within the parameters indicated above, you may take appropriate action.
(Cir. Tech. 4/1980)

5. Quality and condition of explosives provided for use in mines – Attention is invited to Reg.159 of CMR1957
and Reg. 153 of MMR 1961 which require that the explosives provided for use by the owner, Agent or Manager
shall be of good quality and as far as can be known in good condition. It has come to the notice to this
Directorate that suitable checks and controls have not been provided at every mine magazine to comply with the
said requirement. Needless to mention that use of explosives, which are not in good condition lead to, hazards,
which can be easily avoided.

I trust you would in consultation with the manufacturer/suppliers of explosives take immediate steps to institute
suitable checks and controls to comply with the aforesaid statutory requirement.
(Cir. Tech. 5/1985)

6. Storage of explosive beyond its shelf life : It understand that following the general shortage of explosives
sometime last year, a number magazine had build up large buffer stocks to tide over shortfall in supply. This
has, however, resulted in a situation when old stock of explosive had been kept in storage beyond its shelf life in
some places. This is, therefore, to caution you that old stock of explosive should not be used in mines beyond its
shelf life. Further you are advised to take immediate action to destroy such old stock in the manner given in
DGMS Circular No. 57 of 1964.
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(Cir. Tech. 5/1985)

7. Safe destruction of Blasting Explosives – Instructions issued by the office of the Chief Inspector of Mines for
destruction of high and other explosives are reproduced below:
Instructions for the destruction of Blasting Explosives :
(1) Gunpowder : Gunpowder should be thrown into water preferably hot water which dissolve out the
saltpeter and renders the explosive harmless. An alternative methods is to lay it out in a train and fire this
from one end by means of a piece of safety fuse, but if more than one train is laid, care should be taken
to lay the second at such a distance form the site of the first as to run no risk of its being fired by the
heated soil, as many serious accidents have occurred in this way.

(2) Nitrate of Ammonium Explosives : These should be scattered on damp soil. These are so bygroscopic
that even on a dry summer day a short exposure to the air renders them harmless, but it is generally easy
to find a ditch damp enough to take immediate effect. If not generously applied these explosives make
excellent manure.

(3) Nitro Compounds, Gelignite, Gelatin and other similar Explosives : Not more than 50 pounds of
explosives should be destroyed at a time. A clear space of ground about 100 yards all round should be
selected, and a line of shavings or dry straw or grass laid down. On this the cartridges should be placed
in a continuous line not more than two abreast with the cartridges wrappers and any other available paper
below them. Paraffin or other similar oil, should then be poured over the shavings, straw or grass and
cartridges for combustion. The line of shavings, straw or grass should be prolonged some distance
beyond the explosives (say 20ft) and lit with a short length of safety fuse and the operator should then
retire quickly to a safe distance.

The ground on which the destruction is to take place should be clear of dry grass and inflammable
substances. The direction of the fire should be at about an angle of 45 degrees to the direction of the
wind and the fire should be ignited form the weather end.

(4) Dynamites : Even in small cartridges and small quantities dynamites burn very easily to detonations.
The degree of confinement caused by the cartridges wrappers is often sufficient to caused explosion.
Dynamite should never be brunt in larger quantities than 5ibs. at a time and the wrappers must be opened
and up rolled. The site on which the destruction is to take place should be so chosen, and the fire initiated
by means of safety fuse of such a length that no risk is run by personal or property in the event of the
changing to explosion.

(5) Safety fuse : This should be destroyed by burning in lengths in the open under precautions.

(6) Detonators : Detonators should be disposed off by being taken to deep river, or to the sea, and then
thrown into the deep water by twos and threes, or they may be thoroughly soaked in miner oil for 48
hours and then be destroyed one at a time, under suitable precautions, by burning.
(Cr. 57/1964)

(7) Approval of mechanically propelled vehicle for transport of explosives under Reg.164A (2) (a) of
CMR 1957 : By virtue of powers conferred upon me under Reg. 164A (2) (a) of the Coal Mines
Regulations 1957, I hereby approve all mechanically propelled vehicles which are duly licensed under
Rule 76 of the Explosives Rules 1983 for transport of explosives in mines subject to the conditions
stipulated in the licence.

(8) Pilferage of Explosives : Employment of trustworthy persons and checks : The owners, Agents and
Managers should instruct and impress on their subordinate staff responsible fir handling and using
explosives (particularly detonators and high explosives) the necessity of exercising strictest vigilance to
prevent leakage of explosives.
1. Only such persons should be appointed as magazine incharges, shot fires and explosives carriers,
who have been found to be trustworthy
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2. The number of shot fires and explosives carries should be kept to a minimum.
3. Senior officials should frequently have surprises checks on the amount of explosives with carriers
and shot fires at different times during the shift.

(9) Pilferage of Explosives through authorised persons : It has noted that pilferage of explosives has
taken place form some of the mines through authorised persons, mainly shot fires explosives usually find
their way to undesirable persons and used for anti social activities. To stop this pilferage it is necessary to
check the antecedents of shot fires and to keep a watch on them.

Managements are requested to furnish DGMS with a list of the shot fires in service at their respective
mines on 1st January every year with the following details:
1. Name in Full :
2. Father's Name :
3. Residential Address :
4. Home Address :
5. Number and kind of certificate he holds for firing shots :
A copy of the list should be sent to the Superintendent of Police having jurisdiction in the area, which the
mine is situated.

Managements are also advised to enforce strict check or kind of personal search by the attendance clerks
at the mine entrance at the time the unspent balance is brought to the surface by shot fires.

10. Pilferage of Explosives : Attention is invited to circulars 13/1956 and 9/1957 regarding pilferage of
explosives through authorised persons in mines. It has been reported by the Superintendent of Police,
Dhanbad that pilferage of explosives on a large scale is taking face form some of mine magazines and
that explosives are going to the hands of undesirable persons. In order to stop such an undesirable
practice it is essential that explosives are issued to the shot fires very carefully after, ascertaining their
actual needs. It is equally necessary that the magazine clerk and the shot fires be kept under constant
watch to ensure that there is no misuse of explosives. The quantity of explosives actually used by the
shot firer should be checked by a senior officer of the rank of an Assistant Manager. The magazine
incharge should be asked to maintain a proper account of the quantity of explosives issued from the
magazine and the number of shots fired.
(Cir. 44/1963)

CMR 168 / MMR 162

1. Stemming Material : the stemming material most commonly used in this country is clay, a plastic mixture
being formed into plugs which are than allowed to dry out in the sun. The plugs thus attain a consistency similar
to that of unbrunt brick and are often so hard that very forceful treatment is required in the shot holes to break
them down. Such plugs are completely unsuitable as stemming material.

The stemming material should be compact but not hard. The use of mixture containing 70% fine sand, 30% clay
and a small percentage of calcium chloride to keep it in a plastic condition is recommended for the purpose.
(Cir. 49/1959)

2. Forcing down of Explosives Cartridges : Forcing a cartridges of explosives down a shot-hole is always
fraught with danger particularly when it is stuck up. Instruction exists in the Regulations when the shot hole is
of insufficient size [Reg.168 (9) of CMR 1957 and Reg. 192(9) of MMR 1961].

It is equally dangerous when attempts are made to press or force a cartridges stuck up in a shot-hole of bigger
size either due to some obstruction in the shot-hole or the cartridge having fallen diagonally. In drawing
attention to the danger associated with such practice, it is required that at no stage should attempts be made to
push any cartridges down when it gets stuck up either because of insufficient diameter, obstruction in the shot-
hole or any other reason.

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Such shot hole should be dealt with the manner laid down in the regulations for misfired shots.
(Cir. Tech. 1/1975)

3. Shots in shafts and tunnels to be Fired Electricity in Coal Mines : In exercise of the powers conferred on
the regional inspector of Mines under Red.168(14) of the coal mines regulations 1957 and in exercise of the
provisions of Reg.202 of CMR 1957, the DGMS has specified that every shot to be fired in a shaft or tunnel
shall be fired electrically.

A similar requirement has been made under Reg.162 (14) of MMR 1961 also.
(Cir.Legis.6 & 7/1991)

4. Shots to be fired in shafts, tunnels and workings belowground electrically in Metalliferous Mines : In
exercise of powers conferred on the Regional inspector of mine, under Reg.162 (14) of the Metalliferous Mines
Regulations 1961 and in exercise of the provisions of Reg.193, the DGMS has specified that shot to be fired in
a shaft, tunnel or working belowground in a Metalliferous Mine shall be fired electrically of ten meters form the
place of firing. In either case the techniques of blasting and/or muffling should be got approved form the
concerned Director of Mines Safety.
(Cir. Tech. 8/1982)

5. Simultaneous Blasting with Fuse in opencast working : It has been seen that, in many opencast mines a
number of shot firers/blasters are engaged side by side for simultaneous blasting operations. As shots fired by
all such shot firers/blasters are likely to go off together, it is difficult to count them for ascertaining whether
there has been any misfire or not. If in case there is slight time stagger in blasting operations some of the shot
firers/blasters may be injured by missiles thrown off by other blasting in the neighborhood, as they may not be
able to take proper shelter in time.
(Cir. 1/1967)

It is therefore advisable that, where a number of shot firers/blasters are employed in proximity to each other (i.e.
300 meters) only one shot firer/blaster are time may fire shots, and the interval between two shot firers/blasters
firing shots should not be less than 30 mines.

6. Blasting in quarries beyond day light hours : Precautions exist to prevent danger form projectiles due to
blasting operations carried out in opencast workings within the dangers zone of 300 meters. However, when
such operations are carried out beyond daylight hours, it may not be possible to ensure that all persons in the
danger zone had taken shelter. There is also the possibility of some inadvertent entry into the danger zone by
workers or even outsiders, possibility of persons remaining unprotected in the danger zone therefore cannot be
ruled out and hence additional precautions are required.

It is therefore felt that shots, if fired after day light hours, should be muffled so that flying fragments form
blasting cannot project beyond a distance of ten meters from the place of blasting.

The above may be noted for strict compliance in all blasting operations.
(Cir. Tech. 8/1976)

7. Danger Zone in opencast Mines : Reg. 164 of the MMR 1961, as amended by notification no. 1093 dated the
20th September, 1974 specifies that in opencast workings a blaster shall not charge on fire a shot unless
sufficient warning be efficient signals or other means approved by the manager is given over the entire area
falling within a radius of 300 meters from the place of firing (referred to as the danger zone) and the blaster has
ensured that all persons within the danger zone have taken proper shelter.

During the last four years six accidents, including one fatal, have occurred in different opencast mines in which
persons beyond the aforesaid danger zone of 300 meters have been hit by projectiles from the place of firing.
The maximum distance at which a person was struck was about 362 meters. Expect at one mine, where the
depth of shot holes was 5 meters, jack hammer holes, about 1.5 meters deep, were fired at the other mines,
where accidents took place
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The above accidents amply demonstrate that the minimum distance specified in the regulation, is not adequate
in all circumstances. May, I, Therefore, request you, in the interest of safety, to treat all places within a radius of
400 meters of the place of firing as the danger zone. Necessary action is being taken to suitably amend the
(Cir. Tech. 15/1977)

Extracts from Indian Coal Mines Regulations, 1957 Standard of Ventilation :

Reg. 130 (2) For the purpose of securing adequate ventilation as aforesaid, the owner, agent and manager shall
(i) In every ventilation district, not less than six cubic meters per minute of air per person employed, in the district
on the largest shift or not less that 2.5 cubic meters per minute of air daily tones output, whichever is larger,
passes along the last ventilation connection in the district which means the in by most gallery in the district
along which the air passes;

(ii) At every place in the mine where persons are required to work or pass, the air does not contain less than 19
percent of oxygen and more than 0.5 percent of Carbon Dioxide or any Noxious gas in quantity likely to affect
the health of any person;
(iii) The percentage of inflammable gas does not exceed 0.75 in the general body of the return air of any
ventilating district and 1.25 in any place in the mine;

(iv) The wet bulb temperature in any working place does not exceed 33.5 degree centigrade, and where the wet
bulb temperature exceeds 30.5 degree centigrade arrangements are made to ventilate the same with a current
of air moving at a speed of not less than one meter per second.

CMR 173

Use of double copper coated steel tube delay detonators : Double copper coated steel tube coal delay detonators
manufactured by M/s. IDL Chemicals ltd., have been provisionally approved for use in gassy seams of first degree.
Although these detonators are provisionally approved for use in gassy seams of first degree, yet it is obligatory on
the part of individual Mine Managements to obtain an exemption from the provisions of Reg. 173(b) of the CMR
1957 for the use if detonators other than copper tube detonators. You are, therefore, advised to obtain such
exemption before using steel tube detonators of approved type.

It is apprehended that using of steel tube detonators may constitute hazard in their handling and use. Adequate steps
shall therefore be taken during storage of these detonators to obviate the risk of rusting. A competent person should
examine these detonators before the same are issued for use. If any signs of rusting are noticed, the matter shall be
reported to this Directorate and the concerned Director of Mines Safety.
(Cir. Tech. 6/1981)

CMR 175

1. Testing for inflammable gas before blasting : In particular, the shorfirer should test carefully for
inflammable gas the mouth of shot-hole (s).

2. Use of clay plug at the back of a shot-hole : Wherever permitted explosives are used, plug of stemming shall
be placed at the back of every shot-hole before it is changed. This provides an added precaution against the
danger arising form the presence of a crack at the back of the holes, as such cracks are mot easy to detect.

Of course, any hole in which a break has been found should not be charged as required by Reg. 175 (4) of CMR

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CMR Reg. 136 A


Degree of Gassiness Place where velocity of air is to be Velocity of air

1 2 3
[First, Second or Third Immediate out bye ventilation connection form 30
Degree] the face.
[First, Second] (i) 4.5 meters from any face whether 30
working or discontinued on the in take
side of the brattice or partition.
(ii) 7.5 meters out bye of the discharge end 15
of an air pipe.
(iii) At the maximum span of 60 a long wall 60

Third Degree (i) 4.5 meters from any face whether 45

working or discontinued on the intake
side of the brattice or partition.
(ii) 7.5 meters out bye of the discharge end 25
of an air pipe.
(iii) At the maximum span of a long wall 75

CMR 161. Cartridges :

(1) No explosives, other than a fuse or a detonator, shall be issued for use in a mine, or taken into or used in any
part of a mine unless it is in the form or a cartridge. Cartridge shall be used only in the form in which they are

(2) The preparation of cartridges form loose gun power, the drying of gunpowder and the reconstruction of damp
cartridges shall be d\carried out by a competent person and only in a place approved by the Licensing
Authority and in accordance with the rules made under the Indian Explosives Act, 1884.

*1. Bulk Explosives : As per clause (1) of Reg. 161 explosives for use in mines have to be in cartridge from
only. But these days bulk explosives are used in large opencast mines for which exemption has to be sought.
Further, in deep hole blasting the primary charge is often non sensitive necessitating use of a booster. Thus
more than one type of explosives is used in the same shot hole fir which relaxation has to be obtained from
the provisions of Reg. 168 (5).

Use of explosives form two different manufactures in the same blast should be avoided.

*2. Sleeping Holes : In opencast mines using large quantity of explosives, it sometimes becomes necessary to
allow the holes to sleep for which special exemption has to be obtained.

CMR 168

Drilling, charging, Stemming and Firing of Shot-Holes :

(1) No drill shall be used for boring a shot-hole unless it allows a clearance of at least 0.3 centimeters over the
diameter of the cartridge of Explosives, which it is intend to use.
(2) No shot hole shall be charged before it is thoroughly cleaned.

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(3) Before any shot hole is charged, the direction of the hole shall, where practicable, be distinctly marked on
the roof or other convenient place.
(4) No detonator shall be inserted into a priming cartridge until immediately before it is to be used; so however
that in case of wet workings, priming cartridge may be prepared at the nearest convenient dry place; and
such primed cartridges shall be carried to the working place in a securely closed case or container, Detonators
once inserted into a priming cartridge, shall not be taken out.
(5) The change in any shot hole shall consist of one or more complete cartridges of the same diameter and the
same type of Explosives.
(6) The shot-firer shall, to the best of his judgment, ensure that no charge in a shot hole is overcharged or under
charged, having regard to the task to be performed.
(7) No shot shall be fired by use less than 1.2 meters in length
(8) Every shot hole shall be stemmed with sufficient and suitable non-inflammable stemming so as to prevent
the shot the blowing out. Only sand loosely filled in or soft clay lightly pressed home, or a compact mixture
of sand and clay, or water, shall be used as stemming. In no case shall coal dust be used for purpose of
(9) In charging or stemming a shot hole, no metallic tool, scraper or rod shall be used; and no explosives shall be
forcibly pressed into a hole insufficient size.
(10) No shot shall be fired except in a property drilled, charged and stemmed shot hole.
(11) Blasting galantine or other high explosives shall be lighted in order to set fire to fuses.

CMR 170.

*1. Danger zone in opencast mines : The need for increasing the Danger Zone from 300 m to 500 m, or even
more has been highlighted by the DGMS in (Cir. Tech. 8/1982). In permissions, the Directorate now gives
danger zone as 500 m.

*2. Controlled blasting near built up areas : When the entire area of 500 m from the site of blasting cannot be
got vacated, the shots have to be fired by controlled blasting technique with action detonators/detonating
relays or be muffled in a manner such that flying fragments do not project beyond a distance of ten meters
from the place of blasting. For controlled blasting and for muffled blasting approval has to be obtained from
the regional inspector.

*3. Accidents due to blown though shots : The over man incharge of the district, who carries a hand plan, has
to forewarn the shot firer in writing to take necessary precautions when the face being blasted approaches
within 10 meters of any other face/working/roadway [DGMS Cir.Tech.16/1982]. The other
face/workings/roadway has to be kept fenced while charging/blasting [DGMS Cir.Tech.6/1983]. Apart from
the shot firer, the mining sider of the district should also see that all persons in the vicinity of shot firing,
including those in direct line of the approaching galleries, are withdrawn and all approaches suitable fenced
[DGMS Cir.Tech.1/1977]. Precautions have also to be taken against dangers form projectiles through long
exploratory boreholes, viz., withdrawal of persons form the other end and fencing etc. [DGMS

CMR 172 :
Conditions requiring use of permitted Explosives:
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the regulations, to or more shots shall not be charged or fired in the
same place simultaneously below ground if the Explosive used is not Permitted Explosive, except in:
(a) A stone –drift, if it does not contain dry coal dust: or
(b) A shaft, which is in the course of being sunk.

(2) In gassy seams of second or third degree no explosives other than permitted sheathed explosives or other
explosives equally safe or any device or apparatus for breaking coal approved by the chief Inspector shall use
while in gassy seams of the first degrees permitted sheathed explosives or any device for breaking coal
approved by Chief Inspector in writing may be used:

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Provided that the Chief Inspector may, by an order in writing and subject to conditions as he may specify
therein, permit in gassy seam of the first degree the use of any explosive other than permitted explosive

CMR 173.

Precautions in the use of permitted explosives-

In any mine in which use of permitted explosive is required :
(a) No shot shall fired in coal mines unless:
(i) The coal has been undercut, over cut or side cut ; and
(ii) The length of the shot hole is atleast 15 centimeters less than the depth of the cut
(b) No detonator shall be used, unless it is an electric detonator with copper tube
(c) Where more shots than one are charged for firing, the shots shall be fired simultaneously: and
(d) The aggregate charge in any shot to be fired in coal shall not exceed such permissible maximum charge, as
the Chief Inspector may, by a notification in the official gazette, lay down for the kind of permitted explosives

Solid Blasting :
Solid blasting is permitted in gassy seams of first and second degree only. Aspects considered are standard of
ventilation, availability of methanometers, arrangements for treatment of coal dust including permanent source of
water supply and provision of stone dust barriers, training of staff, possibility of emission of gas due to presence of
fault, dyke or other geological disturbances, any history of blowers etc.

However, special conditions such as horizon mining (where the heading machines cannot be used due to special
circumstances), solid blasting may be permitted if in coal laterals or in chimneys atleast 300-600 cu. m. per minute
of air, depending upon the dimensions of the drivage and rate of emission of gas can be ensured at the face. Some of
the precautions required may be as fallows:

Total delay interval between first and last shot in a round should not exceed 100 mile seconds (0.1 second); proper
arrangements shall be made for treatment of coal dust at and within 90 meters of the site of blasting; 5 stone dust
barriers shall be provided; blasting operations shall be supervised by an assistant manager; advance bore holes,
atleast 1.5 meters longer than drill holes shall be made to detect geological disturbances. Local methane detector
(LMD) in working order and set to give an alarm when gas exceeds 0.5% shall be provided; no solid blasting can be
done when a geological disturbance has been detected or methane exceeds 0.5%.

CMR 175 - Additional precautions in gassy mine –In any gassy seam the following additional precautions shall be
taken –
(1) If in a ventilating district, presence of inflammable gas is detected in any place, no shot hole shall be charged,
stemmed or fired in that place or in any place situated on its return side till such place has been cleared of gas and
declared safe.
(2) Immediately before charging a shot-hole or a round of shot-holes, and again before firing the shots, the shot-firer
shall carefully test for inflammable gas at all places within a radius of 18 meters of the place of firing.
(3) No shot hole shall be charged if any break is found therein or if inflammable gas is found issuing there from.
(4) If after charging a shot hole, inflammable gas is found in any place within the prescribed radius, no shot shall be
fired until the place has been cleared of gas and declared safe.
(5) No delay action detonator shall be used, except with the previous permission in writing of the Chief Inspector
and subject to such conditions as he may specify therein.

CMR 176.

Inspections after shot firing :

After a shot has been fired the shot-firer shall not enter or allow any other person to enter the place until the
atmosphere in the area is free from dust, smoke or fumes. He shall, before any other person enters the place, make a
careful examination and with his assistants, if any, make the place safe. No other person shall enter the place, and
where guards have been posted they shall not be withdrawn, until the examination has been made and the place has

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been declared safe in all respects. In the case of opencast workings, after shots have been fired, an all-clear signal
shall be given except in the case of a misfire.

CMR 177.

Misfires :
(1) The number of shots which explode shall, unless shots are fired electrically, be counted by shot firer and any
other competent person authorised for the purpose, and unless it is certain that all the shots have been
exploded, no person shall be re-entered or be permitted to re-enter the place until 30 minutes after the firing of

Provided that the shots are fired electrically, this interval may be reduced to not less than 5 minutes after the
source of electricity has been disconnected from the cable.
(2) In the event of a misfire, the entrance or entrances to the working place shall be fenced so as to prevent
inadvertent access, and no work other than that of locating or relieving the misfired hole shall be done therein
until the misfire has been located and relieved. In opencast workings, it shall be sufficient to mark the place of
the misfire with a red flag.
(3) In the event of a misfire, a second charge shall not be placed in the same hole.

(4) If the misfire contains a detonator, the leads or fuse there of shall be attached by a string to the shot-firing
cable or some distinctive marker.
(5) Except where the misfire is due to a faulty cable or a faulty connection and the shot is to be fired as soon as
practicable after the defect is remedied, another shot shall be fired in a relieving hole which shall be so placed
and drilled in such a direction that at no point shall it be nearer than 30 centimeters from the misfired hole.
The new hole shall be bored in the presence of shot-firer, preferably the same person who fired the shot.
(6) After a relieving shot has been fired, a careful search cartridge or detonators, if any, shall be made in the
presence of the shot-firer, amongst the material brought down by the shot. Provided that, in case of workings
below -ground if such cartridge or detonator is not recovered, the tubs into which the material is loaded shall
be marked and further search made on the surface. As far as possible, the search for the detonators and
cartridges and the loading of any coal, stone or debris that may contain detonator, shall be carried out without
the aid of tools.
(7) If the misfired hole is not dislodged by a relieving shot, the procedure laid down in sub regulation (5) and (6)
above shall be repeated. A misfired hole which cannot be dealt with in the manner so prescribed, shall be
securely plugged with a wooden plug and no person other than a shot-firer, an official or a person authorised
for the person shall remove or attempt to remove any such plug.
(8) When a misfired shot is not found or when a misfired shot is not relieved, the shot-firer shall before leaving
the mine, give information of the failure to such shot-firer or officials as may relieve or take over charge from
him. He shall also record, in a bound paged book kept for the purpose, a report on every misfire, whether
suspected, and whether the shot hole is relieved or not relieved. It shall be the responsibility of the relieving
shot firer or official also to sign the report and to record in the said book the action taken for relieving the
misfired shot-hole.
(9) The shot-firer of the next shift shall locate and blast the misfire hole, but if after a thorough examination of
the place, the place where the misfire was reported to have occurred, he is satisfied that no misfire has
actually occurred, he may permit drilling in the place.

CMR 180 - General precautions regarding explosives.

(1) No person, whilst handling explosives or engaged or assisting in the preparation of charges or in the charging
of holes, shall smoke or carry or use a light other than an enclosed light, electric torch or lamp:

Provided that, nothing in this sub-regulation shall be deemed to prohibit the use of an open light for lighting

(1) No person shall take any light other than an electric torch or an enclosed electric lamp into any
explosive magazine or store or premises.
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(a) The owner, agent or manager shall take adequate steps to prevent pilferage of explosives during
its storage, transport and use in the mine.
(b) No person shall have explosives in his possession except as provided for in these regulations or
keep explosives in a dwelling house.
(2) Any person finding any explosives in or about a mine shall deposit the same in the magazine or stores
or premises. Every such occurrence shall be reported to the manager in writing.


1. Slurry explosives of only one manufacture shall be used in one blast hole and as far as possible in one blast.
2. All boulders formed as a result of earlier blast, which cannot be handled by excavator/shovel etc., shall be
blasted or removed from the mine before next deep hole blast in the mine.
3. (a) Slurry Explosives shall be used in order of their date of manufacture.
(b) Explosives manufactured earlier than six month shall not be used.
4. (a) Smoking, naked lights or open flame shall not be allowed in the vicinity of the explosives.
(b) No person when charging or handling the slurry explosives shall allow smoking, naked light or fire
within 10m. of shot holes or the explosives.
5. Broken and discarded empty bag of slurry explosives can be cleaned up and properly disposed off daily in a
safe manner, such as by burning in an isolated place or burying.
6. The slurry explosives when transported in vehicles shall be carried in an Explosives Van approved by the
Chief Controller of Explosives
7. (a) The Explosives Vans used for the transport of slurry explosives shall be in safe operating condition and
should be driven by competent licensed drives.
(b) The vans shall be kept in isolated locations while loaded.
(c) The vans shall be well locked except during times of placement and removal of stocks of slurry
(d) No smoking and no open flames shall be permitted in our near the vans containing explosives.
(e) The area surrounding the vans (when used of emporary) storage not less than 10m., in all directions
shall be kept free of rubbish, dry leaves of other materials of combustible nature.
(f) Normally not more than day's requirement of slurry explosives shall be permitted to be temporarily
stored in the vans at any one time.
8. All detonators and priming cartridges shall be kept in secure receptacles at a safe distance from the detonating
fuse and the Explosives until actually required for use.
9. The cases of slurry explosives shall not be opened unless the holes are ready for charging in every respect.
10. The holes shall be charged and fired as soon as possible after the explosives is transported to the blasting. All
normal precautions for charging as laid down.
11. Charging of explosives shall be such as to ensure continuity of the explosives column. Where deck charging is
done, continuity shall be ensured for each check of explosives charge.
12. Explosives cartridges shall not be split or performed.
13. Adequate amount of cap sensitive explosives shall be used with non-cap sensitive charge to ensure complete
detonation of the explosive charge.
14. Before entering an area after blasting the blaster/shot firer and other personal shall make certain that the place
is clear of dust and fumes and is safe in every respect.
15. In case of misfires, precautions as laid down in the regulation 177 of the Coal Mines Regulations, 1957 shall
be taken.
16. The entire operations of transport of the explosives to the site of its use, and charging and blasting shall be
placed under the overall charge of a competent person holding manager's certificate or such other
qualifications as may be approved by the Director General of Mines Safety, and appointed in writing by the
manager for the purpose.

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U/R 161(1) AND 168(5) OF CMR 1957.

1. The operations of making site mixed emulsion explosives charging and firing of shot holes shall be carried out
under the super vision of Technical Officer of Manufacturer.
2. General precautions and normal rules regarding handling and use of explosives shall be in a safe operating
conditions and should be driven by competent licensed drivers.
3. (a) Pump truck carrying constituents of emulsion explosives shall be in a safe operating conditions and
should be driven by competent licenced drives.
(b) The pump truck shall be kept in isolated location while loaded.
(c) No smoking and no open flames shall be permitted within 60m. of the pump truck.
(d) The area surrounding truck not less than 10m in all directions shall be kept free of rubbish, dry leaves or
other materials or combustible nature.
4. Only necessary minimum number of persons shall be allowed during charging and firing of shot holes.
5. Due care shall be taken to ensure that the explosives is pumped only into proper-drilled shot holes and that
there is no spilling of explosives.
6. A proper record shall be kept of the quantity of explosives charged in every shot holes and that fired in a
around of shots.
7. (a) All detonators and priming cartridges shall be kept in secure receptables at a safe distance from the
detonating fuse and the explosives until actually required for use.
(b) Detonators/detonating, fuse shall not be carried in the same truck/van.
8. The Explosives charges shall not be allowed to sleep over in bore holes unless express permission in writing to
that effect has been obtained.
9. The holes shall be charged and fired as soon as possible after the explosive is transported to the site of blasting.
All normal precautions for charging and firing as laid down in the regulations shall be strictly observed.
10. Charging of explosives shall be such as to ensure continuity of the explosives column. Where deck charging is
done, continuity shall be ensured for each deck of explosive charge.
11. Primer explosives cartridge shall not be split or deformed.
12. Adequate amount of cap sensitive explosive shall be used with non-cap sensitive explosive charge to ensure
complete detonation of the explosive charge.
13. Before entering as area after blasting, the shot firer and other personal shall make certain that the place is clear
of dust and safe in every respect.
14. In case of misfires, precautions as laid down in the Reg. 177 of the CMR, 1957 shall be taken
15. The entire operations of transport of the explosives to the site of its used charging and blasting shall be placed
under the overall charge of a competent person holding Managers Certificates and appointed in writing by the
Manager for the purpose.



The storage and transport of explosives is governed by the Explosives Rules, 1983. It is important that all users of
Explosives are familiar with the rules, and ensure that they are not infringed.

Explosives can be stored only in a specially constructed magazine duly licence by the Chief Controller of
Explosives, Government of India.

A. Maintenance and Operation of Magazine :

Certain important recommendations are given below :
1. Magazine should be kept scrupulously clean and overshoes should be provided for use inside. Dirty shoes must
not be taken inside.
2. Persons entering the magazine should be searched for cigarettes/matches or other inflammable material.
3. Tools for opening explosives boxes must be of wood, brass, and copper of borzes; use of tools made of iron,
steel or other sparking materials etc.
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4. Empty boxes, loose packing materials etc. should not be kept in the magazine.
5. Area surrounding the magazine should be kept free of 'inflammable' material; to avoid 'bush fires', undergrowth
and vegetation should be trimmed regularly.
6. Magazine should be well ventilated; it is advisable to keep the magazines open for at least one hour everyday.
7. Strict records of 'receipt' and 'issue' of explosives should be maintained and stocks issued on a 'First in - First
out' basis.
8. Cases should be stacked on trestles and a 15cm air space should be allowed between the cases and the walls for
free circulation of air. Cases should not be stacked more than 3 m high and should be so arranged that their date
of manufacture is always visible. Stocks should be physically checked periodically to ensure that they are in
good conditions.
9. Magazines should be securely locked and well guarded at all times.
10. Magazine buildings should be kept in a good state of repair while undertaking repairs, explosives should be
removed from the magazines to some other approved place of storage.
11. General rules governing conduct in the magazine such as use of overshoes, prohibiting smoking etc., should be
posted outside. A copy of the licence and the lighting conductor test certificate should also be kept in the
magazine. A warning sign for tespassers should be displayed outside.
12. The design of the magazine should be such that there is an internal volume of not less than 0.4 cu m per 100 per
kg of explosives stored.

B. Storage of Different Classes of Explosives :

Under the Indian Explosives Rules, the various explosives and accessories are classified under separate under
separate headings :
Class 1 Gunpowder
Class 2 Nitrate Mixtures
Class 3 Nitro compounds
Div.1 Blasting Gelatine, Special Gelatine, Opencast Gelatine, Belgex, etc.
Div 2 Pentolite, Primers, Gun, Cotton, PETN, TNT
Class 4 Chlorate Mixtures
Class 5 Fulminate
Class 6 Ammunition
Div 1 Safety Fuse, Fog Signals, Igniter Cord Connectors, Electric Lighters, Safety Electric Fuses,
Percussion Caps, Safety Cartridges for small arms.
Div 2 Plastic Igniter Cord, 'Cordtex' detonating Fuse, Electric Fuses, Fuse Igniters.
Div 3 Detonators, Delay Detonator Relays.
Class 7 Fireworks
Class 8 LOX

Under the Indian Explosives Rules, the following can be stored together in the same magazine :
Gunpowder Class 1
Nitrate Mixture Class 2
Nitro compounds Class 3
Chlorate Mixture Class 4
Safety Fuse Class 6 Div.1
Cordtex Det Fuses,
Plastic Igniter Cord Class 6 Div.2

On no account must detonators be stored together with the above. Normally, detonators are stored in a separate
building, but if the number of detonators does not exceed 44,000 it is permissible to store them in a property-
constructed annex attached to the main magazine.

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(Extra from the Indian Explosives Rules, 1983, Schedule IV)

Article Form of Purpose for which granted Authority empower to grant

No. Licence Licence
1 (a) 20 To manufacture Explosives other than Fire works, Chief Controller
Gunpowder, ANFO at site and Liquid Oxygen
1 (b) 20 To manufacture Fire works and Gunpowder upto 200 kg. Controller of Explosives
at a time. Authorised by Chief
1 (c) 20 To manufacture Fire works and / or Gunpowder more Chief Controller
than upto 200 kg. at a time.
1 (d) 38 To manufacture ANFO Explosives at site Controller of Explosives
Authorised by Chief
1 (e) 39 To manufacture Liquid Oxygen Explosives Chief Controller
2 (a) 21 To possess for Sale Explosives not exceeding 2000 kg Chief Controller
Class 1,2,3,4 & 7 together with Explosives of Class 6.
2 (B) 21 To possess Sale Explosives exceeding 2000 kg of Class Chief Controller
1,2,3,4 & 7 and any quantity of Class 5, 6 and 8.
3 (a) 22 To possess for use Explosives not exceeding 2000 kg of Controller of Explosives
Class 1,2,3,4 & 7 together with Explosives of Class 6. Authorised by Chief
3 (b) 22 To possess for use Explosives not exceeding 2000 kg of Chief Controller
Class 1,2,3,4 & 7 and any quantity of Class 5, 6 and 8.
4 (a) 24 To possess and sell from a shop Gunpowder and or small Controller of Explosives
arms Nito-Compound not exceeding 25 kg or fireworks Authorised by Chief
not exceeding 100 kg of Class 7 Division 2 Sub Division Controller
2, 1000 kg of Class 7 Division 2 Sub-Division 1 of safety
fuse not exceeding 10000 meters.
5 (a) 23 To possess for own use Class 2 and / or Class 3 District Authority
Explosives not exceeding 5 kg, electric ordinary
detonators not exceeding 100 numbers and safety fuse
not exceeding 200 meters.
5 (b) 23 To possess for use small arms Nito-Compound not District Authority
exceeding 5 kg in the State of Kerala
5 (c) 23 To possess for use Gunpowder not exceeding 5 kg and District Authority
safety fuse not exceeding 50 meters in the state of Bihar,
Kerala and West Bengal
6 27 To Importer Explosives Chief Controller
7 28 To Export Explosives Chief Controller
8 26 To Transport Explosives Controller of Explosives
9 25 For Road Van Controller Authorised by
Chief Controller
11 Special To Manufacture Explosives not provided in Article 1. Chief Controller

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1. The term "Explosives" as used herein includes any or all of the following: dynamite, black blasting powder, pellet
powder, blasting caps, electric blasting caps and detonating fuse.
2. The term "Electric Blasting Cap" as used herein includes both instantaneous electric blasting caps and all types of
delay electric blasting caps.
3. The term "Primer" as used herein means a cartridge of explosives in combination with a blasting cap or an electric
blasting cap.

A. When Transporting Explosives

1. DO obey all laws and regulations.

2. DO see that any vehicle used to transport explosives is in proper working condition and equipped with a tight
wooden or non-sparking metal floor with sides and ends high enough to prevent the Explosives from falling
off. The load in an open-bodied truck should be covered with a waterproof and fire-resistant tarpaulin, and the
Explosives should not be allowed to contact any source of heat such as an exhaust pipe. Wiring should be fully
insulated so as to prevent short-circuiting, and at least two fire extinguishers should be carried. The truck
should be plainly marked so as to give adequate warning to the public of the nature of the cargo.
3. DON'T permit metal, except approved metal truck v\bodies, to contact cases of explosives. Metal, flammable,
or corrosive substances should not be transported with explosives.
4. DON'T allow smoking or unauthorized or unnecessary persons in the vehicle.
5. DO load and unload Explosives carefully. Never throw Explosives from the vehicle.
6. DO see that other Explosives, including detonating fuse, are separated from blasting caps and/of electric
blasting caps where it is permitted to transport them in the same vehicle.
7. DON'T drive trucks containing explosives through cities, towns or villages, or park them near such places as
restaurants, garages and filling stations, unless it cannot be avoided.
8. DO request that explosives deliveries be made at the magazine or in some other location well removed from
populated areas.
9. DON'T fight fires after they have come in contact with explosives. Remove all personnel to a safe location and
guard the area against intruders.

B. When storing Explosives

10. DO store explosives in accordance with laws and regulations.

11. DO store explosives only in a magazine which is clean, dry, well ventilated, reasonably cool, properly located,
substantially constructed, bullet and fire resistance and securely locked.
12. DON’T store blasting caps or electric blasting caps in the same box, container or magazine with other
13. DON’T store explosives, fuse, or fuse lighters in a wet or damp place, or near place, or near oil, gasoline,
cleaning solution or solvents, or near radiators, steam pipes, exhaust pipes, stoves, or other sources of heat.
14. DON’T store any sparking metal, or sparking metal tools in an explosives magazine.
15. DON’T smoke or have matches, or have any source of fire or flame in or near explosives magazine.
16. DON’T allow leaves, grass, brush, or debris to accumulate within 25 feet of an explosives magazine.
17. DON’T shoot into explosives or allow the discharge or firearms in the vicinity of an explosives magazine.
18. DO consult the manufacturer if nitroglycerin from deteriorated explosives has leaked onto the floor of a
magazine. The floor should be desensitized by washing thoroughly with an agent approved for that purpose.
19. DO locate explosives magazines in the most isolated places available. They should be separated from each
other, and from inhabited buildings, highways, and railroads, by distances not less then those recommended in
the American Table of Distances.

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C. When using Explosives

20. DON’T use sparking metal tools to open kegs or wooden cases of explosives. Metallic slitters may be used for
opening fiberboard cases, provided that metallic slitter does not come in contact with the metallic fasteners of
the case.
21. DON’T smoke or have matches, or any source of fire or flame, within 100 feet of an area in which explosives
are being handed or used.
22. DON’T place explosives where they may be exposed to flame, excessive heat, sparks or impact.
23. DO replace or close the cover of explosives cases or packages after using.
24. DON’T carry explosives in the pockets of your clothing or elsewhere on your person.
25. DON’T insert anything but fuse in the open end of blasting caps.
26. DON’T strike, tamper with or attempt to remove or investigate the contents of blasting caps, or try to pull the
wires out of an electric blasting cap.
27. DON’T allow children or unauthorized or unnecessary persons to be present where explosives being
handled or used.
28. DON’T handle use, or be near explosives during the approach or progress of any electrical storm. All persons
should retire to a place of safety.
29. DON’T use explosives or accessories equipment that are obviously deteriorated or damaged.
30. DON’T attempt to reclaim or to use fuse, bleating caps, electric blasting caps, or any explosives that have
been water soaked, even if they have dried out. Consult the manufacturer.

D. When Preparing The Primer

31. DON’T make up primer in a magazine, or near excessive quantities of explosives, or

in excess in immediate needs.
32. DON’T force a blasting caps or an electric blasting caps into dynamite. Insert the cap into a hole made
in the dynamite with a punch suitable in the purpose.
33. DO make up primes in accordance with proven and established methods. Make sure that the cap shell is
completely encased in the dynamite or booster and so secured that in loading no tension will be placed on the
wires or fuse at the point of entry into the cap.

E. When Drilling and Loading

34. DO comply with applicable regulations relative to drilling and loading.

35. DO carefully examine the surface or face before drilling to determine the possible presence of unfired
explosives. Never drill into explosives.
36. DO check the borehole carefully with a wooden tamping pole or a measuring tape to determine its condition
before loading.
37. DO recognize the possibility of static electrical hazards from pneumatic loading and take adequate
precautionary measures. If any doubt exists, consult your explosives supplier.
38. DON’T stack surplus explosives near working areas during loading.
39. DO cut from the spool the line of detonating fuse extending into a borehole before loading the remainder of
the charge.
40. DON’T load a borehole with explosives after springing (enlarging the holes with explosives) or upon
complication of drilling without making certain that it is cool and that it does not contain any hot metal,
burning or smoldering material. Temperature in excess of 150 F is dangerous.
41. DON’T spring a borehole near another hole loaded with explosives.
42. DON’T force explosives into a borehole or through obstruction in a borehole. Any such practice is particularly
hazardous in dry holes and when the charge is primed.
43. DON’T slit, drop, deform or abuse the primer. DON’T drop a large size, heavy cartridge directly on the
44. DO avoid placing any unnecessary part of the body aver the borehole during loading.
45. DON’T load any borehole near electric power lines unless the firing line, including the blasting cap wires, is
so short it cannot reach the power wires.

Author: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engg. (E.mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com)
Website: http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/
Partha Das Sharma’s
Technical Diary On
46. DON’T connect blasting caps, or electric blasting caps, to detonating fuse except by methods recommended
by the manufacturer.

F. When Tamping

47. DON’T tamp dynamite that has been removed from the cartridge.
48. DON’T tamp with metallic devices of any kind, including the metal end of loading the metal end of loading
poles. Use wooden tamping tools with no exposed metal non-sparking metal connectors for joint poles. Avoid
violet tamping. Never tamp the primer.
49. DO confine the explosives in the borehole with sani, earth, clay or other suitable incombustible stemming
50. DON’T kink or injure fuse, or electric blasting cap wires, when tamping.

G. When Shooting Electrically

51. DON’T uncoil the wires or use electric blasting caps during dust storms or near any other source of large
charges of static electricity.
52. DON’T uncoil the wires or use electric blasting caps in the vicinity in of radio frequency transmitters, except
at safe distances. Consults the manufactures or the institute of makers of explosives pamphlet on “Radio
Frequency Hazards.”
53. DO keep the firing circuit completely insulated from the ground or other conductors such as bare wires, rails,
pipes or other part of stray currents.
54. DON’T have electric wire or cables of any kind near electric blasting caps or other explosives except at the
time and for the purpose of firing the blast.
55. DO test all the circuit blasting caps, either single or either connected in a series circuit, using only a blasting
galvanometer specifically design for the purpose.
56. DON’T use the same circuit either electric blasting caps made by more then one manufacturer, or electric
blasting caps of different style or function even if made by the same manufacturer, unless such use is
approved by the manufacturer.
57. DON’T attempt to fire a single electric blasting cap or a circuit of electric blasting caps with less then the
minimum current specified by the manufacturer.
58. DO be sure that all the wire ends to be connected are bright and clean.
59. DO keep the electric cap wires or leading wires short-circuited until ready to fire.

H. When Shooting With Fuse

60. DO handle fuse carefully to avoid damaging the covering. In cold weather warm slightly before using the
avoid cracking the waterproofing.
61. DON’T use the short fuse. Know the burning speed of the fuse and make sure you time to reach the place of
safety after lighting. Never use less then two feet.
62. DON’T cut fuse until you are ready to insert it into a blasting cap. Cat of an inch or two to ensure a dry end.
Cut fuse squarely across with sharp blade. Seat the fuse lightly against the cap charge and avoid twisting after
it in a place.
63. DON’T crimp blasting caps by any means except a cap crimper designed for the purpose. Make certain that
the cap is securely crimped to the fuse.
64. DO light fuse with a fuse lighter designed for the purpose. If a match is used the fuse should be slit at the end
and the match head held in the slit against the powder core. Then scratch the match head with an abrasive
surface to light fuse.
65. DON’T light fuse until sufficient stemming has been placed over the explosive to prevent sparks or flying
match heads from coming into correct with the explosive.
66. DON’T hold explosives in the hands when lighting fuse.

I. Underground Work

67. DO use permissible explosives only in the manner specified by the Director General of Mines Safety.
Author: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engg. (E.mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com)
Website: http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/
Partha Das Sharma’s
Technical Diary On
68. DON’T take excessive quantities of explosives into a mine at any one time.
69. DON’T use black blasting powder or pellet powder with permissible explosives or dynamite in the same
borehole in a coal mine.

J. Before and After Firing

70. DON’T fire a blast without a positive signal from the one in charge who has made certain that all surplus
explosives are in a safe place, all persons and vehicles are at a sage distance or under sufficient cover and that
adequate warning has been given.
71. DON’T return to the area of any blast until the smoke and fumes from the blast have been dissipated.
72. DON’T attempt to investigate a misfire too soon. Follow recognized rules and regulations or if no riles of
regulations are in effect, wait at least one hour.
73. DON’T drill, bore, or pick out a charge of explosives that has misfired. Misfires should be handled only by or
under the direction of a competent and experienced person.

K. Explosives Disposal

74. DON’T abandon any explosives.

75. DO dispose of or destroy explosives in strict accordance with approved methods. Consult the manufacturer or
DGMS pamphlet measures on destroying explosives.
76. DON’T leave explosives, empty cartridges, boxes, liners, or other materials used in the packing of explosives
lying around where children or unauthorized persons or livestock can get at them.
77. DON’T allow any wood, paper, or any other materials employed in packing explosives to be burned in a
stove, a fireplace, or other confined space, or to be used for any purpose. Such materials should be destroyed
by burning at an isolated location out of doors and no person should be nearer than 100 feet after the burning
has started.

Author’s Bio-data:
Partha Das Sharma is Graduate (B.Tech – Hons.) in Mining Engineering from IIT, Kharagpur, India (1979)
and was associated with number of mining and explosives organizations, namely MOIL, BALCO, Century
Cement, Anil Chemicals, VBC Industries, Mah. Explosives etc., before joining the present organization, Solar
Group of Explosives Industries at Nagpur (India), few years ago.

Author has presented number of technical papers in many of the seminars and journals on varied topics like
Overburden side casting by blasting, Blast induced Ground Vibration and its control, Tunnel blasting, Drilling
& blasting in metalliferous underground mines, Controlled blasting techniques, Development of Non-primary
explosive detonators (NPED), Hot hole blasting, Signature hole blast analysis with Electronic detonator,
Signature hole blast analysis for control of blast induced vibration etc. Currently, author has following useful
blogs on Web:
• http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/
• http://saferenvironment.wordpress.com
• http://www.environmentengineering.blogspot.com
• www.coalandfuel.blogspot.com

Author can be contacted at E-mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com, sharmapd1@rediffmail.com,

Disclaimer: Views expressed in the article are solely of the author’s own and do not necessarily belong to any
of the Company.


Author: Partha Das Sharma, B.Tech(Hons.) in Mining Engg. (E.mail: sharmapd1@gmail.com)
Website: http://miningandblasting.wordpress.com/

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