Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mining Engineering (MSMIE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mining Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Braden T. Lusk


This thesis recounts the study of contour blasting practices in the Appalachia coal region. Contour blasting practices vary widely and problems are often encountered. Several different sites were visited and contour blasting practices at each were studied. Based on the information gathered, a comprehensive plan was developed for blasting operations to follow and then was tested and compared to an example of blasting practices without use of the plan. The blasting practices were compared by examining monthly production rates as well as a time study to measure the efficiency a contour blast could be loaded and hauled away and a cost per cubic yard of material determined. The plan was found to be successful in keeping safety while increasing profitability. However, the plan will need to be backed and understood by management in order to achieve the same success.