Blasting is undertaken, in a safe, responsible and efficient, on many Banks Mining sites, to fracture layers of hard competent rock in order to assist with excavation of the rock. Unlike blasting in quarries, where the aim is to physically displace the rock horizontally with significant fragmentation to create a rock pile, blasting in our surface mines is designed simply to fracture the rock in situ to assist excavation. Blasting operations are both time consuming and expensive and are therefore minimised wherever possible.
Prior to any blasting operations taking place, a full assessment of the impact of vibration from blasting must be undertaken and submitted to the mineral planning authority and planning permission obtained. There are government planning guidance documents which provide advice on vibration limits to mineral planning authorities. This advice is incorporated into the planning conditions for the site which strictly control blasting operations by stipulating the frequency and times of blasting, vibration limits and monitoring requirements.