Orica has announced the commercial release of WebGen™ 200 Surface, its latest wireless blast initiation solution tailored to surface mining applications.
Developed based on the success of more than 5,000 WebGen 100 blasts around the world, containing over 150,000 primers, WebGen 200 Surface will change how the industry blasts, resulting in more safer and efficient blasting for customers, according to the company.
The company conducted the first surface blast with WebGen 200 at TerraCom’s Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland, Australia, at the back end of 2022, as part of its Alpha trial program to verifiy and validate product testing in the field. Another trial at a partner customer mine in northern Chile has since followed.
Specifically designed for surface mining applications, WebGen 200 Surface eliminates physical wired connections to a blast or within the blasthole, opening up a whole new range of possibilities, Orica says. It enables customers to optimise their entire mining process from reducing exposure on bench to geological hazards, such as stemming dust, working next to highwalls, reducing vehicle interactions, and removing people from harm’s way.
The WebGen 200 system revolutionises mining operations by enabling customers to carry out operations during the lightning storm season or turning a loaded blast into a temporary haul road with the award-winning blasting method Mine Schedule Flexibility, the company said.
Orica Senior Manager, WebGen Commercialisation, Rhys Patterson, said: “It is the culmination of years of research and development across technology, marketing, commercial, supply and manufacturing teams. We are pleased to announce that WebGen 200 Surface is now commercially available for our customers.”
In addition, the safe passage of mining equipment over loaded blastholes by maintaining parallel mining, and drilling, and loading activities is now a reality, which can significantly increase the vertical advance of surface mines, Orica says. Production delays associated with exclusion zones around loaded blast patterns during lightning storms can also be eliminated using WebGen.
Orica’s global underground customers started the transition to WebGen 200 Underground Pro, with Newmont Borden being the first underground customer reaping the benefits of adopting this technology in late 2022. Engineered to deliver robust safety and reliability, the four variants of WebGen 200 (WebGen 200 Surface, WebGen 200 Surface Pro, WebGen 200 Underground Pro and WebGen 200 Dev) have been built with enhanced capabilities, security, and versatility, ensuring it meets the extreme mining conditions faced by surface and underground customers.