Explosives delivery system launched by major manufacturer of commercial explosives

Louise Davis


Creating a step change in productivity via the next generation of explosives delivery system

One of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems has recently introduced its latest explosives delivery system.

The new Bulkmaster 7 mobile manufacturing unit (MMU) from Orica is designed for use in the open-cut mining sector. It is the latest evolution of the firm’s well-known delivery system technology, delivering a leap in productivity and safety on bench, and another significant step towards automating drill and blast operations in the future.
Orica group executive and president, Australia Pacific & Asia, Darryl Cuzzubbo, says: “The Bulkmaster 7’s increased payload, loadout rates and bin flexibility is fundamental to improving our customers’ productivity, offering a clear competitive advantage for them, and in turn for us.

“We are continually advancing our delivery systems in both underground and surface applications, and believe delivery systems form a fundamental building block to providing a superior service to our customers.”

The first Bulkmaster 7 unit commenced operation in early 2018 at the Fortescue Metals Group Solomon operations, located in the resource-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia. By fully integrating the Bulkmaster 7 units, combined with advanced operational services, Orica expects to reduce the number of MMU asset requirements by 30%, delivering explosives safely and efficiently, while reducing the total cost of operation for the mine.

The performance improvements have been achieved through a series of technical innovations in the new generation delivery system. These include a proprietary bin shape to optimise ammonium nitrate flowability, minimise weight, evenly distribute stresses and lower the centre of gravity. Designed to improve reliability, stability, safety and increase total bulk explosives product holding capacity of up to 20.9t of Fortan and 22.5t of Fortis.

Specially designed augers and increased power capacity improve delivery rates and allow for new material metering methods. Allowing for accurate Fortan and Fortis delivery rates of 1100kg/min and 550kg/min respectively.

Advanced integrated hydraulic, sensor and control system technology helps optimise usability and formulation quality at high speeds.

The Bulkmaster 7 also fully integrates with LoadPlus, a BlastIQ-enabled smart control system technology, to deliver products transparently and accurately in accordance with site requirements. The BlastIQ system delivers a range of technology solutions to improve productivity, save time and reduce the overall cost of drill and blast operations.

As the mining industry moves ever closer to automating the entire value chain, the release of the new Bulkmaster 7 signifies another successful milestone in Orica’s overall technology vision. This vision includes WebGen, a wireless initiating system, the BlastIQ system and continually advancing the firm’s bulk product range and delivery methods that set out to revolutionise drill and blast operations of the future

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