BHP has announced an agreement with explosives supplier Dyno Nobel, a business of Incitec Pivot Limited, to invest in a blast technology research program to improve the safety and productivity across its Australian operations.
As part of a Technology Alliance Agreement with BHP, Dyno Nobel will invest A$25 million ($17 million) over the next five years to pursue technology improvements that will directly benefit BHP’s mining operations.
Dyno Nobel’s research and development will be undertaken collaboratively with input from BHP, with the aim of focusing the investment in areas with the greatest potential impact, Dyno Nobel said. In addition, BHP will provide ongoing reviews, feedback and site access for prototype testing.
“For example, Dyno Nobel’s Differential Energy and Digishot Plus 4G technologies are proven to improve safety, efficiency and environmental impacts on the ground today,” the company said.
Dyno Nobel says it will also have semi-autonomous mobile processing units (MPU) (the trucks that fill blast holes with explosives) developed by the end of this year, followed by the development of fully-autonomous MPUs – all of which have the potential to take people out of harm’s way and improve efficiency.
Dyno Nobel’s technology roadmap is broad, the company said, including new developments in digital technologies, bulk explosives, equipment automation and initiating systems including wireless technology.
BHP Group Procurement Officer, Sundeep Singh (left), said: “The Technology Alliance Agreement is a great example of BHP partnering with suppliers to drive improvement that will benefit our company and the sector as a whole.
“As well as providing an avenue to improve our own drill and blasting activities in Queensland and Western Australia, the partnership will support our pursuit of better environmental stewardship through a joint commitment to eradicate the use of palm oil in the explosive manufacturing process.”
Managing Director and CEO of Incitec Pivot Limited, Jeanne Johns (right), said, “Our industry leading technology is on the ground today, and this joint value sharing Technology Alliance Agreement is an example of our customer focused approach to building strong collaborative partnerships. I am excited about demonstrating the value of our current offer on the ground today and developing technologies with our valued customer and global mining house, BHP for the mine of the future.”
Johns added: “Our leading explosives technology is clever in design, adds immediate value to BHP’s operation through productivity, safety and environmental benefits, and demonstrates the potential of technology to transform the Australian resources industry.”
Pivotal to this alliance is Dyno Nobel’s market leading Differential Energy technology. With successes in the US market, it is now being rolled out to sites across Australia as the benefits are recognised by leading mining companies, the company said.
This Technology Alliance Agreement was an integral part of a suite of contract renewals for the supply of explosives products and services to BHP’s open-pit operations at BMA, BHP Iron Ore and Nickel West, according to Dyno Nobel.