Orica’s new 4D explosives technology reduces costs – Australian Mining


Orica’s wireless initiating system technology, WebGen, in use at Glencore’s Ernest Henry (EHM) Mine.

Latest News

Orica has launched 4D, its latest bulk explosives technology enabling customers to target specific blast outcomes in real-time.

Delivering improvements in fragmentation, bench productivity, and reducing overall drill and blast costs, 4D is built for anticipation, functionality and proactivity.

Suitable for both pumped and augered loading methods across dry, wet and dewatered hole conditions, 4D combines emulsion blended with ammonium nitrate porous prills.

This results in greater bench productivity by Orica’s fleet of 4D-enabled Mobile Manufacturing Units (MMU), without the need to change raw materials in the MMU.

Orica’s 4D enables a broader range of applications, promising up to 23 per cent more relative bulk strength for hard rock applications and up to 43 per cent reduction in soft rock.

In hard rock, the extra energy can be used to improve fragmentation in ore blasting or can substantially reduce drill and blast costs by expanding patterns while maintaining the same energy per bank cubic metre (BCM).

In softer geology, the potential of loading lower energy products into wet holes leads to reduced cost and fume risk, as well as better management of blast vibration.

Orica chief technology officer Angus Melbourne said he is excited by the future of 4D.

“Our 4D capability demonstrates the convergence of our new technologies and solutions, allowing our customers to think differently, mine more efficiently and operate more precisely,” he said.

“By combining our range of advanced digital, formulation chemistry and explosives delivery technologies with our technical expertise, we are able to offer this breakthrough solution that will unlock greater value for our customers across their operations.”

Orica vice president for blasting technology Adam Mooney said 4D marks the next generation of bulk explosives technology.

“Traditionally blast designs are often driven by powder factor, which is the overall consumption of explosives for the blast, rather than the energy required for different parts of the blast based on geology, resulting in the same type of explosive being applied across a blast pattern regardless of changes in geology or the required blast outcome,” he said.

“4D now enables us to consider another dimension – the application of energy in real-time matched to the rock strength of the blast pattern as well as the desired blast outcomes, such as consistent fragmentation, fume risk reduction or better vibration control.

“This is a really powerful technology that will allow customers to manage their drill and blast operations, and achieve improved blast outcomes.”