THE SITUATION Continuity of the mining operation without affecting the Pasco community

El Brocal mining area in the Peruvian Colquijirca region, continuously blasts two adjacent mines. The first site produces silver, lead and zinc minerals. The second, an underground site, produces copper. Both located 289 km from Lima and 10 km from Pasco, at 4,250 meters above sea level, and generating 1.2 million tons per year. The Pasco community, adjacent to the sites, is affected by the constant explosives blasting due to the vibrations, noise and pollution. This situation resulted in the mining company committing to pay the community for blast-related damages.

Currently, El Brocal mining company is in the second phase of expansion, what could result in an increased issue, as the pit is expanding towards Pasco direction. To provide an effective solution to this situation, the mining company decided to perform tests with Plasma 4TH, an ENAEX non-explosive technology product, obtaining excellent results: controlled vibrations, no toxic gases generation, no evacuations (mechanical and / or mining) of any kind required, converting Plasma 4TH into a 100% effective product for their demands.

THE CHALLENGE Productivity without impact on the mining planning or communities.

The main challenges faced by Plasma 4TH to solve the reported problems were costs and operation under water presence.The operational and technical assistance team of Plasma 4TH played a fundamental role in ensuring the quality standards of the project, constantly aligned with the client’s expectations and specific requirements, in order to ensure optimal use of the product.

ENAEX | metals producer | Colquijirca, Peru

THE SOLUTION Use of Plasma 4TH “MegaFract”

Plasma 4TH solved this challenge using a non-explosive, efficient and safe technology for rock fracture: MegaFract. This product is designed for large-scale mining works and projects requiring a high control and precision (open-pit mining, pre-splitting, buffer, bank (pillars), among other specific requirements). The application minimized and/or eliminated the noise, pollution and vibration problems of the Pasco community, factors that affected their daily life previously.

Consequently, Plasma 4TH with its MegaFract product received a positive reception by the site technical specialists, through the achievement of the promised results and an exceptional performance. Proof of that, is an exercise carried out on a type III rock of 30 MPa, on a 2.6 meter Burden pattern and with 3.0 meters spacing, with a drilling diameter of 6 ¾ inches, a blast-hole length of 6.5 meters in a total of 40 dry blast-holes, removing a total of 2,151 m3. The product was loaded in 9 kg charges, considering 3 loads per blast-hole, representing a total of 27 kg per hole, accompanied by gravel as the confinement material. With these specifications, an average loading factor of 0.477 kg/m3 (191 gr/ton) is achieved, translating into a significant decrease when compared to conventional explosives (-32%), which would reach an approximate value of 0.700 kg/m3 (280 gr/ton). Finally, a P80 of 5.3 inches in sterile material is attained.

ENAEX | metals producer | Colquijirca, Peru


  • Decrease in the impact on the environment and the Pasco community.
  • Vibration level of 20.9 mm/sec at 50 meters and 5.83 mm/sec at 213 meters.
  • Low fly-rock levels.
  • No toxic gases generation.
  • Minimum nitrogen levels.
  • Reduction of the evacuation radius.
  • Fracture without special permits requirements.
  • Process optimization 


Front cover image: Mining Global