Real-time quarry material analysis

The Thermo Scientific Blast-Hole Xpert (BHX), an innovative new system from ­Thermo Fisher Scientific (Fig. 1), increases efficiency at the quarry by allowing real-time analysis of the “drill cuttings” liberated from the blast hole during the drilling process (Fig. 2).

The BHX delivers valuable data helping cement producers distinguish between recoverable and waste rock, gain greater understanding of material ­composition and, ultimately, avoid costly ­errors. The Blast-Hole Xpert (Fig. 3), which mounts directly on the drill rig, gathers information as operators drill each hole in a quarry and analyzes cuttings as they are extracted. This procedure not only eliminates the need to gather material samples manually and send them away for lab analysis, but also delivers valuable information about how composition varies in three dimensions.

Output from the BHX system can easily be synced with three-dimensional quarry models and other mine planning software. All information is wirelessly transmitted to a central quarry office and stored in databases containing records on quarry holes and drill cuttings. Designed for harsh, rugged environments, the BHX is also easy to use and requires minimal training for quarry operators and managers.

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