A major problem with commonly used controlled blasting techniques is the additional time and cost required to drill and load the relatively closely spaced, lightly charged roof and rib holes. Some mine personnel have been observed to be reluctant to deviate from their established blasting procedures, citing a variety of reasons. To promote blasting practices that reduce overbreak, the U.S. Bureau of Mines decided to investigate the possibility that overbreak could be reduced by making only minor changes in a mine's standard blast design. To that end, a cooperative agreement was signed with Copper Range Company to conduct a series of blasting tests in the production headings of its White Pine underground copper mine.
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