Orica & Fertiberia report world first use of low carbon technical ammonium nitrate in Spain

Orica and Fertiberia have partnered to successfully execute the first blast using low-carbon Technical Ammonium Nitrate (TAN) at the Canteras de Santullán calcium carbonate quarry in Spain. This milestone follows the announcement in September 2023, where Orica and Fertiberia unveiled their collaboration to provide low-carbon TAN to customers seeking sustainable blasting solutions.

For the blast at the Canteras de Santullán, Orica used ammonium nitrate produced by Fertiberia using renewable hydrogen, resulting in a low-carbon explosive product. For the first time, conventional explosives were replaced with an innovative and more sustainable product, marking its first industrial-scale use.

Fertiberia’s Director for Industrial Development and Projects Gonzalo Fernández Ozalla said: “The decarbonisation of mining, a crucial sector for the energy transition due to its role in extracting copper and other essential industrial minerals, is set to begin with the first use of a more sustainable product. The blast marks a further step towards reducing the carbon footprint of mining activities.”

Orica says low-carbon TAN has the potential to transform the industry, as it provides a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution to conventional TAN.

Pedro de Andrés Sáez, General Manager Canteras de Santullán, said: “We are proud that Fertiberia and Orica selected Santullán’s quarry for this pioneering moment in mining, both in Spain and Europe. The blast involves the use of ammonium nitrate produced with a lower carbon footprint. As a company, we are deeply committed to sustainability, environmental stewardship, and maintaining a strong relationship with the local community – This product supports that commitment.”

Orica’s Lead Commercial for Southern Europe Jesus Domingo said: “Mining is a necessity as the world transitions, and it is crucial we mine safely, more efficiently, and more sustainably. The collaboration between Orica, Fertiberia, and Canteras de Santullán to use low-carbon ammonium nitrate represents a significant advancement in the explosives industry, and for the broader mining industry.”