Thermal Fragmentation Mining Method

Thermal Fragmentation


An extraction process with multiple benefits that solves the challenges of today

The extraction process allows thermal fragmentation with an accuracy of 2 cm to quickly extract any type of hard rock up to 110 cm wide. With such precision, high grade precious and base metal veins can now be extracted without dilution. The thermal unit can be set up to extract a specific corridor. The major advantages of this process:

Reduced dilution

The extraction process produces highly concentrated ore which results in 400% to 500% less dilution compared to shrinkage mining methods. There is no wall damage caused by blast vibrations.

Significant cost savings

Since less rock is extracted, important savings are realised throughout the entire chain of production. The compact size of the ore (0 - 13 mm) and concentration of the material brought to the processing plant increases the production capacity of existing installations and output of ounces.

Completely mechanised

Thermal fragmentation mining process requires a 3 person team. The thermal unit is fully mechanised reducing the risk of physical injury traditionally observed in labour intensive shrinkage mining methods.

Lessens the impact on the environment

Since less waste rock is extracted and development is performed directly into ore, the process produces significantly less mining waste (1:5). Therefore, fewer chemical products per ounce mined are needed and fewer alterations are made to the terrain (smaller tailings and waste piles)

Other important impacts

  • Extends mine life
  • Resources converted to Reserves
  • Strengthens Sustainability & Project Acceptence
  • Mining permits obtained faster and easier
  • Low Cost slot raise
  • Cost effective bulk sampling


  1. Series of 6 inch (15-cm) pilot holes drilled into the vein with conventional drill
  2. Thermal Fragmentation (thermal head, compressed air and water) is inserted and spalls the rock, quickly increasing the diameter of the hole to 30 - 110 cm
  3. Extraction of ore in 0 - 13 mm fragments
  4. Break leftover rock between fragmented holes to recover remaining ore

Each work site is organised within two superimposed drift levels, approximately 20 meters apart. By drifting directly into the ore, we minimise mining waste and development costs. Through the use of soft explosive charges, the hanging wall and footwall are left intact and only the mineralised corridor itself is extracted.



Additional applications of thermal fragmentation

We replace and / or improve these extractions methods:

  • Room and pillar method (flat or reef)
  • Small Long Hole method
  • Shrinkage method

We also used for:

  • Drop Raise / Blind raise
  • Ventilation raise (primary and secondary)
  • Drainage holes of 30 cm and more
  • Vibration blasting control
  • Perimeter blasting and stress reduction
  • Drift cuts
  • Ore recovery in drifting
  • Ore/waste pass
  • Security exits



Download the technology presentation  Technology Powerpoint Presentation

Download the Thermal Fragmentation Demonstration  Download the Thermal Fragmentation Demonstration

Photos of Thermal Equipment  Photos of Thermal Equipment

Presentation video:


Thermal Fragmentation 2D Animation:



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