Witness the First Drawbell Blast at PTFI's Grasberg Block Cave
31 January 2019
PT Freeport Indonesia’s timing was impeccable on a couple of different counts December 15, when workers blasted the first drawbell in the Grasberg Block Cave mine.
Impeccable because all the critical timing involved with blasting went off without a hitch, and because Greg Probst, Director of Public Affairs-New Orleans, happened to be at Jobsite with a video team to capture the event.
The result is the video on the last-minute preparation before the blast, a front-row, Go-Pro seat to the blast itself, and a brief celebration before everyone got back to work.
After 14 years of planning, mine design, construction and development, the first of more than 1,200 drawbells planned for the GBC was blasted at 4:20 p.m. Saturday, December 15 – two weeks ahead of schedule.
The blast is a major milestone toward the official start of production at the world’s largest underground mine.
Over the coming years, the GBC will require constant work to ramp up to production capacity of 130,000 to 160,000 tons per day. Each draw bell yields two draw points, so the mine eventually will have 2,400 draw points and more than 630,000 square meters of undercut. In addition, another 143 kilometers of drifts will be constructed, as well as two additional crushers and two more train unloading stations.
“The project continued to move forward in spite of natural disasters, labor issues, supply-line disruptions and technical challenges,” said Chris Zimmer, Senior Vice President-Mine Underground “Coming in ahead of schedule is a reflection of the resolve that is present in the PTFI organization.”
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