This paper describes the development and testing of a robotic system for charging blast holes in underground mining. The automation system supports four main tactical functions: detection of blast holes; teleoperated arm pose control; automatic arm pose control; and human-in-the-loop visual servoing. We present the system architecture, and analyze the major components, Hole detection is crucial for automating the process, and we discuss theoretical and practical aspects in detail. The sensors used are laser range finders and cameras installed in the end effector. For automatic insertion, we consider image processing techniques to support visual servoing the tool to the hole. We also discuss issues surrounding the control of heavy-duty mining manipulators, in particular, friction, stiction, and actuator saturation.