Tag Archives: Dyno Nobel

Dyno Nobel’s CyberDet I underground wireless blasting tech hits the mark at Westgold’s Big Bell

Dyno Nobel says it has completed the first ever underground wireless detonator blast in Western Australia, using its ground-breaking wireless technology, CyberDet I®.

The blast, on June 1, 2021 at Westgold’s Big Bell underground gold mine, saw 34 CyberDet I detonators fired, producing “outstanding results”, including a well fragmented muckpile, the Incitec Pivot Ltd business reported.

Big Bell is a premier asset in Westgold’s Cue portfolio of mines (expected to produce 100,000-110,000 oz/y for Westgold over the long-term, underwritten by output from the Big Bell mine, Westgold says) and the blast was undertaken following approval from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific President, Greg Hayne, said the blast in Western Australia’s mid-west region was a significant milestone for Dyno Nobel’s wireless detonator offering.

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with Westgold on the first underground wireless blast ever in WA,” Hayne said. “The blast was a great success and it’s been really pleasing to hear Westgold’s feedback that it believes CyberDet I will deliver improved safety and efficiency.”

CyberDet I is designed to allow operators to work in a safer environment during the blast loading process. The technology also facilitates a shorter blast cycle, providing the potential to increase the number of tonnes mined.

“CyberDet I is Dyno Nobel’s through-the-earth wireless detonator offering, developed on the back of customers telling us it’s technology they need,” Hayne said.

Incitec Pivot Ltd Chief Technology Officer, Robert Rounsley, said CyberDet I highlighted the group’s commitment to advanced technology development.

“One of the key advantages of our wireless offering is its portable design,” he said. “The flexible nature of our communications antenna provides significant operational advantages for our users.”

The next step for CyberDet I will be further trials in Australia, with several customers already interested in the wireless technology, according to the company.

“We’re looking forward to showing more of our customers the benefits of CyberDet I.” Hayne said. “It is just one of our premium technology offerings focused on meeting the needs of our customers. We are proud of our customer partnerships which are creating innovative, practical improvements in safety, productivity and environmental performance.”

Dyno Nobel satisfies surface blast design requirements with EZshot EZDet series

Dyno Nobel, a leader in commercial explosives, has released its EZshot® EZDet (EZD) series for surface blasting.

These new units consist of a green shock tube with a surface detonator attached to one end and a high-strength (#12) in-hole electronic detonator on the other, Dyno Nobel says. The surface detonator is set inside of a color-coded plastic EZ™ Connector block to facilitate easy connections to shock tube leads and can hold up to six shock tube leads.

Easy-to-read, colour-coded delay tags display the delay number and nominal firing time prominently to ensure ease-of-use, the company added.

Units can be easily connected to one another to satisfy basic blast design requirements in quarry, mining and construction operations, according to Dyno Nobel. They can also be used in combination with NONEL®MS, NONEL EZTL™ and/or NONEL TD detonators for complex blast design requirements and to minimise inventory of initiation system components.

Dyno Nobel takes aim at underground mine development challenges with EZshot

“Companies traditionally see mine development as a means to an end. You just want to get it done to get to the ore.”

Paul Klaric, Technical Manager at DynoConsult, Dyno Nobel’s specialist consulting division, is right. Mine development is all about metres per day/month. The accuracy of the drill and blast patterns, or the stability of the drives that are created, rarely feature in quarterly updates or investor presentations.

Yet, this short-term thinking – typically related to the need to improve a project’s payback period – is costing the industry millions of dollars of sustaining capital.

Dyno Nobel Vice President, Product and Applications Technology, David Gribble, explains: “There are some applications where you carry out this development and you come back a few years later and look to either rehabilitate or create new drives off of it.”

In underground mines with challenging ground conditions where drilling and blasting practices are lacklustre, this can create safety concerns.

“Companies are trying to mitigate any safety issues by working to remove people through automation and technologies such as wireless initiation – which is great – but we are of the opinion that part of the reason for these technologies is that the drives were damaged in the first place,” Gribble told IM. “If we can create competent drives with minimal damage from the off, then a lot of the issues that happen down the track – which we’re trying to mitigate against – should go away.”

This is where the company’s EZshot® electronic detonator comes into the mine development equation.

Offering users the benefits of accurate electronic timing without the complications that come with wired systems, EZshot has been designed with underground perimeter blasting in mind.

Utilising shock tube for signal transmission which Dyno Nobel has been producing since the 1970s, EZshot comes in a new colour with the same J-hook connection as NONEL, meaning no new training is required.

Factory-programmed delay times can range from 1,000 to 20,000 milliseconds, with long-period delay timing ideal for underground perimeter blasting, according to the company. This is helped by the electronic initiation unit inside the detonator, which eliminates scatter – an inherent property of traditional pyrotechnic systems, to ensure firing occurs at the pre-designated delay time (see video below).

These design elements all help confront the issue of overbreak in perimeter blasting, according to Klaric.

“A good measure of well controlled, smooth blasting is when you see ‘half barrels’ left behind, which are remnants of the holes that were blasted in the rock mass,” he told IM. This is sometimes witnessed in competent, homogeneous rock masses, but rarely spotted in poor, challenging ground where there is faulting, jointing or discontinuities.

“In such ground, there is greater potential for overbreak and damage after perimeter blasting,” Klaric said.

Gas from the explosives can be forced into the rock mass behind the blast design profile, he said, which can become a real hazard and precondition the ground.

Klaric explained: “Your profile might come out as designed, but there could be more damage beyond the perimeter. As you go to install your ground support, there is potentially an area of the drive where the ground support is going to prove ineffective.”

It is these challenging rock conditions where EZshot could provide the most value to miners, according to the company.

In fact, in trials at an underground mine where variable ground conditions and temperatures were observed, a 12% overall reduction (from 22% to 10%) in overbreak was observed with a switch from NONEL LP to EZshot detonators.

Operators witnessed visible half barrels in poor ground where they had never seen them and full profile half barrels in good ground during these trials, Dyno Nobel reported.

The benefits did not end there.

There was a measurable reduction in the volume of material scaled off the walls after using EZShot – thanks to the improved blasting profile – and initial calculations indicated a positive $/m benefit to development mining costs, according to the company.

Drill and blast overbreak reconciliation is another benefit of EZshot, Gribble says.

“When you just use pyrotechnic detonators, you are likely to break past the perimeter and then you have no idea of where you drilled,” he explained. “How do you then improve something you cannot measure?

“In a lot of cases, EZshot will tell you exactly where you drilled and if the perimeter holes were in or out of design. You can then look to improve from there.”

This could have positive knock-on effects for the rest of the development cycle – not just in terms of speed, but also cost.

“If you are starting to improve and get consistency in your blasting and the drives you are delivering, you can start to consider adapting your rock support measures,” Klaric said.

For example, removing six or seven roof bolts per heading due to the improved blasting profile could see costs drop by A$3,000-4,000 ($1,958-2,610) per heading, he explained.

“It’s going to take time, but the potential is there for consistent results throughout the whole mine life cycle and to look at the drilling and blasting procedure at a much more forensic level,” he said.

While these benefits are applicable in all forms of mine development, it is long-life operations that are set to reap the most rewards from a switch to EZshot.

“This could be your block cave, or panel cave type of operations where some of those drives might be in place for 30-50 years,” Klaric said. “If you get development right in these applications, everything else will be right down the line.”

This means the South American copper industry – one that is progressively moving underground as operations mature – could be a potential market for EZShot. There are also a few famous block cave mines in Asia that could reap some serious value out of the product.

For the time being, the company is focused on further trials, which will provide the statistical firepower to get more miners to notice the product’s potential.

In Queensland, it has recently managed to conduct a few trial blasts, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

And, in Western Australia, EZshot has made an appearance at Silver Lake Resources’ Mount Monger gold operations, helping the company with the portal breakthrough at its newest mine, Santa (pictured, left. Photo courtesy of Silver Lake Resources).

It has also trialled and used the product in the US and Canada, according to Dirk Van Soelen, Vice President of Initiating Systems Technology at Incitec Pivot, Dyno Nobel’s parent company.

Even during these testing times where travel is restricted, there is potential for further trials thanks to the product’s ease of use.

Van Soelen said: “Normally when you bring new technology in, you have to support the technology to the hilt.

“There is an element of that in EZshot as you want to get the measurements and feedback from case studies, but the beauty with it is you can send someone a box and they can use it tomorrow in the same way they use their current product.

“It is a seamless technology transition from the user’s perspective.”

Van Soelen concluded: “I think a big part of the appeal of EZShot comes from the fact that you get ease-of-use and repeatability with this product.

“This repeatability, from blast to blast, takes the emphasis off the blasting procedure and provides the opportunity to look at many other potential savings and efficiencies within the other processes.”

Electronic blasting demand sees Dyno Nobel boost manufacturing output

Demand from customers for Dyno Nobel’s electronic blasting technology is, the company says, boosting manufacturing in regional Queensland, Australia.

The Helidon plant, in southeast Queensland, has expanded to increase electronic detonator production, helping boost regional employment, it said.

Since the plant expansion late last year, the number of employees has grown to 103, up 63%, with more people needed at the plant to manufacture the company’s premium technology, which Dyno Nobel says has seen continued growth.

A business of Incitec Pivot, Dyno Nobel’s half-year results released in May showed a 14% increase in electronic initiating systems sales in Asia Pacific, compared with the same time last year.

Incitec Pivot Managing Director and CEO, Jeanne Johns, said: “Dyno Nobel’s overall mining volumes continue to be supported by our premium technology offering. We are seeing strong demand for our technology from customers who want to improve their productivity and safety outcomes, while also reducing the impact on the environment.

“We tailor our premium technology solutions to manage specific sites requirements and issues and, as a result, our customers are getting better blast outcomes.”

President of Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific, Greg Hayne, said Australia’s mining sector was continuing to operate well.

“We are continuing to invest strongly in our technology pipeline, assisting our customers and supporting the Australian economy with local jobs in manufacturing,” he said.

Looking forward, Dyno Nobel is focused on rolling out its DigiShot®Plus.4G system to further improve safety and productivity at mines across Australia. Released in 2018, DigiShot Plus.4G is designed to help reduce overall costs and increase productivity by reducing blasting delays and introducing programming speeds seven times faster than existing systems.

It was this technology that produced a world record blast at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Caval Ridge Mine in Queensland last December.

Dyno Nobel’s record blast saw 8,144 DigiShot Plus.4G electronic detonators fired in single blast event that took 14 days to prepare and involved loading 2,194 t of bulk explosive into 3,899 blastholes.

“As we continue to develop our technology road map, it’s nice to see these types of outcomes, which reinforce the way our technology aligns with the needs of our customers,” Hayne said.

Dyno Nobel helps BMA Caval Ridge become electronic blasting leader

The Caval Ridge coal mine, in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, Australia, now holds the title of the world’s largest electronic blast completed using Dyno Nobel DigiShot technology.

The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance-owned (BMA) mine completed a blast in December that saw 4.7 Mcu.m of overburden shifted in a blast fired with 2,194 t of bulk explosives across 3,899 holes.

Back in October, BHP Mitsui Coal’s Poitrel mine, in Queensland, became the holder of the title of world’s largest blast using wireless technology after successfully completing the third blast in a trial series to test Orica’s WebGen technology. The blast saw 1.3 million cu.m of overburden shifted in a strata blast fired with 1920 WebGen 100 units across 534 holes, BHP Mitsui said.

Caval Ridge Drill and Blast Superintendent, Dallas Gostelow, said the electronic blast was loaded over 14 days, involving engineers, schedulers and the E and F Blast crews. It involved a combination of four related blast patterns, using 8,144 detonators – a significant number that Gostelow said the company had never set before at the one time.

He said there were significant safety, efficiency and cost improvements to be made using the electronic technology.

“Timings for the detonators are fully programmable and each blast hole is physically connected to the surface by a wire, but the systems is less complicated and fully digitised, which means higher fidelity of tie in to reduce misfire potential,” he said.

Dyno Nobel launched its DigiShot Plus 4G electronic initiation system back in 2018. The system, developed by Dyno Nobel’s joint venture partner DetNet®, was designed to help reduce overall costs and increase productivity by reducing blasting delays and introducing programming speeds seven times faster than existing systems.

The ability to fire larger blasts, or multiple blast patterns in one event, means downtime for equipment is kept to a minimum, according to BMA.

Jason Smith, Principal Category Management TCO, Drill Blast & Geology, said the successful outcome of the blast was down to the collaboration across asset, function and supplier.

He said the commercial team and Caval Ridge worked with Dyno Nobel to deliver improved technology that would provide bigger and more accurate shots with significant improvements to safety, productivity and cost.

“The significance of it is the precision timing you can get from using electronics rather than pyrotechnical blasting, which requires thousands of metres of on bench tie-in work, and can lead to poor blast fragmentation,” Smith said.

“With the collaboration between Dyno and BMA, it is allowing Dyno to improve their product and giving BMA the advantage of better blasting and fragmentation and larger shots.

“This is a perfect example of the commercial teams working in the background to strengthen a supplier relationship and the site and supplier working together to deliver superior results.”

BHP to lead from the front on sourcing, diversity, inclusion, climate change

BHP’s Group Procurement Officer, Sundeep Singh, took to the IMARC stage this week to talk about the major miner’s experience in responsible sourcing, diversity and inclusion, and climate change.

He said taking responsibility in all of these areas was not only right, but good for shareholders and business, going on to provide several examples of how the company was displaying industry leadership in these spaces.

Among the initiatives mentioned by Singh at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC), in Melbourne, was the company’s goal to be gender-balanced by 2025. Three years ago when the company made this pledge, women made up 17.6% of its workforce. Today, that number has climbed to 24.5%.

Data collected by BHP shows more inclusive and diverse teams outperform other teams on safety, productivity and culture. Highlighted in this is an up to 67% lower injury rate, 11% better adherence to schedule and 28% lower unplanned absence.

The company has gone further than this, working with other suppliers like ESS Compass, Blackwoods and Komatsu to make sure the machines it uses, the clothes employees wear, the food they eat and the camps they live in are more inclusive, he said.

“Another example is the work that we have done with Kal Tire, a tyre management and fitment organisation that supplies to our Spence operation in Chile. This job requires physical strength, which has been historically restricted to larger men,” he said.

BHP worked with Kal Tire to implement a program that trained women to complete the task and also implemented a zero weight arm. This saves people lifting a torqueing tool that can weigh around 20 kg by simply holding the tool in position when torqueing each bolt, according to Singh.

“The program eliminated the need for physical strength as a pre-requisite for the role, making it not only safer, faster but also more inclusive,” he said.

On the issue of climate change, Singh talked up the company’s progress, highlighting the company’s world-first tender earlier this year for LNG-powered vessels for its maritime transport operations as it works towards a goal of net-zero operational emissions by 2050.

Singh said BHP is working with its suppliers and customers to reduce emissions from the transportation, processing and use of its products.

“Ambitious emissions targets will only be achieved by a supply chain that allows us to collaborate with partners like Adelaide-based Voltra who last year helped to develop the world’s first electric UTE, ahead of Tesla,” he said.

“This is a welcome addition to a growing fleet of light electric vehicles that will “significantly reduce our category 1 emissions”, he said.

When it came to ethical sourcing, he said BHP is continually reviewing and assessing its supply chain, applying the framework established through its own Human Rights Centre of Excellence and Global Contract Management System.

“No-one wants to work with unethical suppliers,” he said. “Having high-risk partners is ultimately expensive for everyone and represents significant exposures. Human Rights violations are the furthest anyone could possibly be from shared value.”

Through the system, BHP knows 96% of its direct suppliers are concentrated in 10 countries, Singh said.

Along these lines, last month BHP partnered with Dyno Nobel to invest in a blast technology research program to improve the safety, productivity and sustainability of its Australia operations.

As well as researching ways to lift safety through reduced nitrous oxide fumes that result from blasting and driving productivity from improved fragmentation via differential energy blasts, this partnership represents a joint commitment to eradicate the use of palm oil in the explosive manufacturing process, according to Singh.

“And, as you may know, a recent and rapid increase in palm oil production, has resulted in an increase in deforestation – destroying habitats, displacing local communities and contributing to climate change,” he said.

“As a part of our agreement, Dyno Nobel will only use certified sustainable raw materials and products. If they use forestry-based products, including palm oil, they will give us information on the country and company of origin, and evidence that they are certified sustainable.”

If palm oil is included, Dyno Nobel will include a timeline and plan for its replacement with an alternative product, he added.

While Singh acknowledged that, in the past, BHP didn’t always get it right with its suppliers and “their experience has been varied”, he did say the company is now focused much more on seeking to establish a supplier relationship model based on sustainable mutual commercial value built on long lasting partnerships that unlock value for all of its businesses.

BHP’s supply chain spans 60 countries, 10,000 partners with an annual spend of $20 billion across its capital and operating expenses portfolio in its 2019 financial year. It sourced 215,000 different types of material and equipment for its Australian operations alone in that year.

Alfred Nobel inducted into Explosives Industry Hall of Fame

Alfred Nobel has been named the 2020 Society of Explosives Engineers Education (SEE) Foundation Explosives Industry Hall of Fame inductee for his contributions to improving commercial explosives safety and controllability.

The Swedish businessman was an expert in many areas and is best known for his inventions in the field of explosives.

“He was deeply committed to developing safer explosives after an explosives accident killed his younger brother,” the International Society of Explosives Engineers said.

Nobel invented dynamite, gelignite and ballistite. Each product was a safety improvement over existing explosives. In all, Nobel was awarded 355 patents throughout his lifetime including one for a detonator and another for a safer blasting cap he developed. He was also the founder of Dyno Nobel, a global leader in the commercial explosives industry.

Nobel is just the third Explosives Industry Hall of Fame inductee. David E Siskind, PhD, who has more than 25 years of blasting and vibration research, and John D Loizeaux, a demolition expert who pioneered the use of the strategic and precise placement of explosives to cause buildings to fall where they stood, were the previous inductees.

Nobel’s induction was announced October 1, 2019, by the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE), a professional association established to advance the science and art of explosives engineering.

The Explosives Industry Hall of Fame was created to honour outstanding contributions in technology and innovation while impacting the commercial explosives industry.

BHP looks for blasting safety and productivity gains with Dyno Nobel deal

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.

Dyno Nobel and Mining3 technology development initiatives align

Incitec Pivot Ltd (IPL) has announced that Dyno Nobel has entered an agreement with Mining3 to collaborate with global mining industry members to “develop and deliver transformational technology to improve the productivity, sustainability, and safety of the mining industry”.

As of March 1, IPL – parent company to Dyno Nobel – signed the membership deed to collaborate with, and leverage from the world-class research Mining3 offers, it said.

Mining3 Chief Executive Officer, Paul Lever, said: “Having this major global explosive supplier joining Mining3 strengthens the breadth of engagement within the mining industry, brings a fresh new perspective and an opportunity to participate in a wider range of innovations.”

Robert Rounsley, IPL’s newly appointed Chief Technology Development Officer, said: “We are actively building out Dyno Nobel’s technology development capability. We can offer our customers an even richer solution set, and we believe collaborating with Mining3 and its members will accelerate this undertaking.”

Dyno Nobel is a world-renowned explosives manufacturer with a strong customer focus, which prides itself in delivering practical innovation on the ground today and in the future for its mining and resources customers.

Dyno Nobel plans to leverage the Mining3 membership through the identification of, and collaboration for, the development of new technologies important to the industry.

Wayne Stange, Dyno Nobel’s Vice President of Mining Technology, said, “There are several Mining3 projects that are aligned with our technology development initiatives. Through our Mining3 membership, we will be able to work with a range of researchers and mining equipment and technology services to accelerate the development of transformational technology”.

One project Mining3 is working on, which will probably interest Dyno Nobel, is the pursuit of a non-toxic post-blast bulk alternative explosive.

Dyno Nobel initiates EZshot detonator launch

Dyno Nobel has launched the newest addition to its electronic initiation portfolio, the EZshot®.

This technology offers users the benefits of accurate electronic timing with the ease of use of the NONEL® shock tube, the company says.

“The EZshot detonator series is an exclusive design for underground perimeter blasting. This system gives the customer the ability to use electronic timing for improved perimeter control, helping them to save on time and overall production costs,” Dyno Nobel said.

“With the same J-Hook hookup as NONEL, no new training is required, allowing the customer to quickly move forward on all projects.”

The electronic detonator, EZshot LP, has a high-strength detonator in a heavy walled copper shell with an electronic circuit board timing chip providing precision and accuracy.

“The smart chip technology in the detonator delivers the timing needed that cannot be reached with tradition non-electric detonators,” the company said.

The electronic detonator comes in factory-programmed delay times, ranging from 1,100 to 8,000 milliseconds, with the long period delay timing ideal for underground perimeter blasting, it says.

The EZshot LP shock tube is identical to the trusted and familiar NONEL LP shock tube Dyno Nobel has been producing since the 1970s, in a new colour.

“This reliable design had stood the test of time and blasters will be familiar with the J-hook connection, virtually eliminating additional training time. EZshot LP takes advantage of the shock tube system allowing wireless communication from initiation to detonation,” the company said.