Tag Archives: iRing

iRing opens public database on explosives use in mining

iRing Inc has introduced what it says is an extensive, searchable, comprehensive Knowledge Base that provides answers to questions concerning the use of commercial explosives in mining and construction applications including the physics of the detonation reaction and how this is used in mining for fragmentation.

The iRing Knowledge Base provides in-depth analysis and descriptions of the use of commercial explosives under many topics including types of explosive products, priming, temperature, and pressure effects along with applications and use of explosives in mining and construction. The material has been collected over years of experience in explosive manufacturing and mining by Christopher Preston, Consulting Engineer and VP Research and Development for iRing.

The knowledge concerning the use of explosives as well as case histories and other notes are taken from a broad range of sources including authors skilled in the art as well as personal experience, according to iRing. These works are acknowledged where appropriate and are presented to provide answers to the world use of explosives in mining and construction for everyone.

“Many times, it is just handy to have a place to look up information without doing a rigorous search,” iRing says. “Hopefully, some of the information provided here will be useful. We have tried to acknowledge content that came from outside our realm of experience and we have acknowledged those authors who have provided input in the explosives technology public domain who are used as credible references.”

The Knowledge Base provided by iRing Inc is an extensive collection of information covering the years 1971 to the present. Over that period, commercial explosive products have changed drastically moving from dynamites and canned explosives such as Ammonal and Nitramon to ANFO, water gels and emulsions.

“Much work was completed by Dupont De Nemours and other large commercial manufacturers introducing the water-gel and emulsion families into a stream of safer commercial explosives,” the company said. “These could be used in a host of mining operations – from surface blasting, open-cast mining, and quarrying as well as construction to underground mining operations. Next followed dynamite’s replacement – emulsion explosives, which can be produced in both small and large diameters of charge for large mining operations and construction. Large quantities of bulk explosives can be delivered to the blasthole using pump or auger trucks with loading rates of hundreds of kilograms per minute.

“Delivery records are not only maintained on the trucks but also in the cloud for strategic data handling to arrive at the lowest cost of production. Extensive use of electronics in mining has affected production levels and, in particular, safety. Mine communications have improved to such an extent that normal operational activities can be handled by iPhones and/or tablets for production reports and foreman’s logs.”

iRing concluded: “Perhaps one of the best technologies introduced during the initial years of this century was the production of electronic blasting detonators giving timing accuracies that allow precision blasting methodologies surpassing traditional practices when blasting close to damageable structures.”

Paradigm Shifters qualify for round two of Canada’s Crush It! Challenge

A group of companies called ‘The Paradigm Shifters’ has made it to the next round of a challenge aimed at reducing the amount of energy that crushers and grinders use in the mining process.

The Crush It! Challenge is spearheaded by the federal government (Impact Canada), in cooperation with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), and Goldcorp.

Crushing and grinding account for upwards of 50% of mine site energy consumption and up to 3% of all the electric power generated in the world.

iRing Inc is the lead partner within The Paradigm Shifters and has coordinated the effort with proposal partners to respond to the challenge, it said.

The company explained: “Essentially the team proposes to bring together the processes and technology that could reduce or even eliminate the need for expensive primary crushers, and reduce the energy required by secondary crushing (potentially eliminating it as well) and grinders in both mines and quarries globally.”

The Crush It! Challenge has several qualifying rounds and, if successful in getting to Round 3, then the team will be eligible to receive C$800,000 ($605,397) in seed funding to further prove the concept over a one-and-a-half-year period. At the end of that period, if the team wins the chance to move forward, the project would be eligible to receive an additional C$5 million in funding to commercialise the products and concepts.

The Paradigm Shifters team consists of:

  • iRing Inc (North Bay) Challenge Project Lead – Drill and blasting software;
  • Nexco Inc (North Bay) – Producer of the energy-variable explosive product;
  • Boart Longyear (North Bay and global) – Global supplier of market leading drilling products and services;
  • Paige Engineering Ltd (PEL) (North Bay) – Design and fabrication of explosive manufacturing and loading equipment;
  • Seneca (Montreal) – Explosive plant engineering, design and build;
  • Maptek (Denver and Global) – 3D laser scanner/fragmentation measurement capabilities, and;
  • Bomon Capital (Toronto) – Long term financing should the team succeed.

The savings that could accrue to mines and quarries annually is C$12.8 billion (25% reduction) to C$25.6 billion (50% reduction), according to iRing.

“If all mines in the world adopted this solution, it would represent a reduction equivalent to 7-13% of all the carbon released in Canada, and 20-41% of Canada’s contribution to meeting the Paris Accord agreement.”

iRing will use its software, Aegis, to design the blasting patterns based on the fragmentation requirements. Boart Longyear will deploy recently developed high speed diamond drilling technologies and instrumentation solutions to quickly and accurately drill and validate high-quality blast holes, while using significantly less energy. iRing said: “Boart Longyear’s drills utilise drilling data logging to interpret rock density and strength etc, while drilling.”

The company continued: “With Seneca’s help, Nexco will build a demonstration plant that will produce an energy-variable explosive mixture that can be fuelled while being loaded into the blastholes, and the blast energy would be based on the ore strength information provided by Boart Longyear’s drills and iRing’s software.”

Troy Williams, Vice President of Development of iRing, said: “The challenge will provide a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to reach the mining industry and demonstrate that it is possible to produce consistent results from the blasting operations.”

PEL will design and fabricate the explosive manufacturing and loading equipment required to change the explosive’s energy during loading, according to iRing. Energy reduction is done by adding additional water content into the explosive formulation during loading. Maptek’s laser scanner, meanwhile, will be used to verify fragmentation results by scanning the muck pile and producing a 3D point cloud which can be analysed for a measured fragmentation distribution. Those results will be used by Aegis to further calibrate the fragmentation models.

Mark Sherry, President of iRing, said: “We are really excited by this opportunity as it is directly in iRing’s wheelhouse. The Paradigm Shifters bring together the best in the industry when it comes to drilling and blasting. By working together, we will create a paradigm that is more efficient, effective, cleaner, and safer”.