“The European Union and the United Nations have maintained a very strong partnership and I regard the European Union’s contribution as vitally important for the work of the United Nations,” Mr. Ban told reporters after the meeting with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.“We share the same goals and principles: pursuing peace and prosperity and protecting human rights all around the world,” he said, stressing EU financial and political support for UN work around the world, including development, fighting international terrorism and combating pandemic diseases like HIV/AIDS.“Our positions are on the same page,” he noted after an earlier meeting with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. After a meeting with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Mr. Ban said he was “very much assured and encouraged” by NATO’s contribution to peace and security in Afghanistan and Kosovo with close coordination and under the mandate of the UN.“We discussed with members of the Council, with Secretary-General Scheffer, how to increase overall cooperation at the organisational level,” he added. Asked about an initiative by Italy, a non-permanent UN Security Council member, to seek a moratorium on the death penalty, the Secretary-General said there was a growing tendency to see some phasing out of the death penalty, “and I encourage that trend.” Mr. Ban, who succeeded Kofi Annan as UN chief on 1 January, will tomorrow attend a donors’ conference in Paris, which will seek to help Lebanon recover from the ravages of last summer’s war between Israel and Hizbollah, calling it “one of the most important, serious areas to which the international community needs to pay attention and cooperate.” He also stressed the need to help Iraq to restore political, social and economic stability.From Paris he will go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for talks with President Joseph Kabila and other senior government officials as well as with peacekeepers and staff of the UN’s largest mission. He will also address the National Assembly and make a brief visit across the river to Brazzaville to meet with President Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo.He will then go to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the African Union (AU) Summit where he said he would discuss the Darfur crisis with Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir, as well as conferring with African leaders on the conflicts in Chad, Somalia and Côte d’Ivoire.He will end his Africa tour with a stop in Nairobi, where he will meet with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, followed by a trip to the Netherlands, where he will visit the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.After that, he is to go to Washington for a meeting of the Middle East Quartet – the UN, United States, Russian Federation and European Union – which is seeking a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace. 24 January 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today began his first overseas trip since becoming the world’s top diplomat, meeting in Brussels with European Union (EU) leaders on global issues ranging from the Balkans and the crises in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region, Somalia and Côte d’Ivoire, to climate change and human rights.
David Varcoe, Principal Mining Engineer of AMC Consultants notes a recent project in which AMC was involved that required, amongst other activities, a review of options to measure blast fragmentation in an operating open pit mining environment. “Blast fragmentation measurement is usually depicted,” he explains, “as a particle size distribution (PSD) curve relationship of percentage of rock passing verses rock size.”“Quantifying blast fragmentation is useful for measuring blasting performance to determine if the blast has effectively broken the rock mass to enable it to be loaded and that the ore oversize does not exceed the crusher open size. Improved fragmentation and consistent fragmentation across a blast profile will generally support higher extraction rates and therefore lower loading costs. Drill and blast costs may be reduced if it is determined that the fragmentation result is finer than required.“Blasting is an effective way to break large rocks into smaller rocks much like the role of a primary crusher but it can be cost prohibitive at producing very fine rock particles. Often on an operating mine the installed crushing and grinding capacity is fixed either by its design or by the available power. However, blasting capacity may present upside to the overall capacity of rock breakage and comminution leading to an increase in a mines ore throughput. In some projects reducing the ore top size specification allows an adjustment to the primary crusher setting resulting in an overall crushed product with more fines. This in turn provided a superior feed to the grinding circuit enabling higher t/h to be achieved. “Successful blasting to optimize the overall project economics is part of the study of mine to mill optimization. Mine-to-Mill® optimization as coined by JKTech considers the fragmentation and the impact of the particle size distribution on the drill, blast and processing costs and process plant performance. AMC has been involved with a number of projects which also broaden the scope to consider other important factors such as; ore loss and dilution, the mining schedule, bench height optimization and mining operating costs.“To evaluate the effect of design changes in the blasting practice it is necessary to validate the consequences when the design changes are applied in practice. Modern techniques to measure blast fragmentation have been developed by several vendors using either optical imaging or laser scanning and proprietary algorithms to determine the particle size distribution. “The techniques may be used on an ad hoc basis at the face where a portable camera is used or in production settings where the camera is fitted to the shovel arm or excavator boom to provide continuous monitoring. Positional records allow matching of fragmentation results to different zones in the blast.“Vendors offering solutions to portable measurements include Metso, Motionmetrics, Innovative Machine Vision and Split Engineering. Various levels of scaling and allowance for the repose angle of the rill or face are required to achieve reliable PSD analysis. There is development in using laser scanning to capture fragmentation data which is considered to provide more accurate measurements and is less susceptible to reading errors caused by from dust and excess fines. Motionmetrics, Orica FRAGTrackTM and Split Engineering all offer shovel /excavator mounted options.”“In addition, measurement may be taken at the primary crusher to capture the sizing as material is tipped in to the hopper in real time. Vendors offering fixed at crusher installation solutions include MetsoPro and Split Engineering.”The picture shows screen of Metso Visio Truck output.“The location of the measuring point enables different information to be gathered with the portable method more suited to detailed blast analysis matching blast performance to blast design. The more automatic methods provide consolidated fragmentation data per blast but may lose the geo-spacing information of the rocks source. “Further rock fragmentation measurement located on the crusher discharge conveyor offers advantages and presents different but important data. Firstly, installation on a fixed conveyor is simpler and more reliable than applications in the pit or at the crusher, secondly the crushed ore PSD is a more critical measurement particularly to AG and SAG mill circuits but also to secondary crushing circuits. “In many operations the bottle neck is not the primary crusher but further downstream with the throughput being directly related to the PSD measured after the primary crusher. For a complete mine to mill optimization measurements of fragmentation may be required at multiple locations to understand and optimize the overall process.”Varcoe qualifies that his comments are “not intended to promote any products or vendors and AMC notes that each of these vendors offers specific solutions generally available as part of a greater mine to mill process optimization offering. The vendors are appropriately thanked for their contributions.”