Innovation and Technology

RACE Impact: Innovation in Blasting Improves Zinc Grade at Red Dog

April 28, 2022

Through RACE, Teck is reducing operating costs and significantly improving safety, sustainability and productivity. Using new technologies to understand our ore bodies is one of the ways we are improving productivity across our value chain. 

The geology of the ore deposit at our Red Dog Operations in Alaska is complex, resulting in complicated mining processes and in some cases variable grade delivered to the mill. The Red Dog technical team and Teck’s RACE team investigated the mining processes and identified the opportunity to improve data-based decision making in the area of blasting in order to improve zinc grade in the mill.

A new movement modelling software, OrePro 3D, was developed, allowing mining engineers to accurately predict the quality and quantity of material types post-blast. When combined with the post-blast topography obtained from a drone, the blast timing sequence, and the pre-blast grade model, OrePro 3D can calculate the post-blast position of materials to determine ore and waste boundaries, optimizing the selection of blasted material to be sent to the processing plant.  Through these improved processes, the zinc grade delivered to the plant has been increased by about 5%.


Pat Toms, Red Dog’s Senior Mine Technician and experienced drone pilot, with the DJI Matrice 300RTK Lidar capable drone. 


OrePro 3D uses a custom algorithm to model blast movement to accurately predict in three dimensions.


First Published on April 28, 2022