Tag Archives: MMU

Orica’s 4D bulk explosives tech gains traction in Australia

Having launched its 4D™ bulk explosives technology at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, in September, Orica is now demonstrating the innovation to coal customers on Australia’s East Coast.

The 4D bulk system enables the real-time tailoring of explosives energy to geology across a blast, delivering improvements in fragmentation, on-bench productivity and an overall reduction in drill and blast costs, according to Orica. It is designed to enable customers to, the company says, seamlessly match a greater range of explosives energy across a mine’s geology and target specific blast outcomes in real time.

Back in September, the company said the first release of 4D would begin with Australia from the end of 2021, and it appears Orica has stuck with that schedule.

“We are happy to share that, in Australia, we are currently demonstrating 4D to customers in the East Coast’s coal mines, each with a unique focus to their needs,” the company told IM. “For example, with one customer, we are demonstrating how 4D technology can reduce their overall drill and blast cost through lower explosives consumption, as well as better manage vibration in specific areas of their operation.”

With another customer, Orica is applying the 4D technology to its Fortis™ Clear range of bulk explosive products – formulated for use in applications where the generation of post-blast fume could be experienced – to demonstrate the reduction of fume risk in soft and wet ground, it added.

The technology is also being developed across Orica’s Fortan™ and Aquacharge™ bulk systems but will eventually be applied across Orica’s full suite of bulk systems.

4D is being delivered to these customers through Mobile Manufacturing Units (MMU™) equipped with LOADPlus™, Orica’s proprietary in-cab smart explosives delivery control system that, it says, enables accurate and efficient delivery of formulated explosives products to plan.

By combining emulsion blended with ammonium nitrate porous prills, 4D supports both pumped and augered loading methods across dry, wet and dewatered hole conditions. An outcome of this capability is greater on-bench productivity by Orica’s fleet of 4D-enabled, without the need to change raw materials in the MMU, Orica says.

Delivering up to 23% more relative bulk strength for hard-rock applications and up to 43% reduction in soft-rock applications, 4D will enable a broader range of applications, according to Orica.

Orica said in its half-year results to the end of March 31, 2022 that it was expecting to roll out the 4D technology to more sites in the second half of its financial year.

Orica helps clients target specific blast outcomes in real time with 4D bulk explosives tech

Orica has, today, launched 4D™, its latest bulk explosives technology at MINExpo 2021 in Las Vegas, USA.

The 4D bulk system enables the real-time tailoring of explosives energy to geology across a blast, delivering improvements in fragmentation, on bench productivity and an overall reduction in drill and blast costs, according to the ASX-listed company.

The 4D bulk explosives technology will enable Orica’s customers to, the company says, seamlessly match a greater range of explosives energy across a mine’s geology and target specific blast outcomes in real time.

By combining emulsion blended with ammonium nitrate porous prills, 4D supports both pumped and augered loading methods across dry, wet and dewatered hole conditions. An outcome of this unique capability is greater on bench productivity by Orica’s fleet of 4D-enabled Mobile Manufacturing Units (MMU™), without the need to change raw materials in the MMU, Orica says.

Orica Chief Technology Officer, Angus Melbourne, said: “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. 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.”

Delivering up to 23% more relative bulk strength for hard-rock applications and up to 43% reduction in soft-rock applications, 4D will enable a broader range of applications, according to Orica.

In hard rock, the extra energy can be used to improve fragmentation in ore blasting, or to expand patterns while maintaining the same energy per bank cubic metre to substantially reduce drill and blast costs, the company claims. In softer geology, the potential of loading significantly lower energy products into wet holes leads to reduced cost and fume risk, as well as better management of blast vibration.

Orica Vice President – Blasting Technology, Adam Mooney, described the solution and the significant change in the application of explosives, saying: “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.

“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.”

4D will be delivered through MMU’s equipped with LOADPlus™, Orica’s proprietary in-cab smart explosives delivery control system that, it says, enables the ease of manufacture and accurate and efficient delivery of formulated explosives products to plan.

Integration with Orica’s suite of digital blasting technologies including BlastIQ™ and SHOTPlus™ will further enable customers to leverage seamless digital workflows including blast designs and blast quality assurance and control, as well as BlastIQ digital insights to continually optimise blasting outcomes, Orica says.

4D is currently being developed across Orica’s Fortis™, Fortan™ and Aquacharge™ bulk systems. The technology will eventually be applied across Orica’s suite of bulk systems.

The first release of 4D™ will begin with Australia from the end of the year with other regions to follow from 2022.

MINExpo 2021 runs from September 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.