Downstream efficiencies driven by practical innovation

The product offers superior in-hole retention with less opportunity to spread to cracks and fissures.

Dyno Nobel rolls out bulk explosive technology set to deliver unparalleled efficiencies for downstream blasting outcomes at Australian mine sites. Australian Mining reports.

Following proven success in North America, Dyno Nobel has officially rolled out its industry leading, Differential Energy technology to some major Western Australian mine sites, with further testing and site conversions to follow.

This has the potential to deliver Dyno Nobel’s customers cost savings associated with optimised energy distribution in blasts, requiring less drilling, higher productivity rates and efficient downstream processing. It is also expected to reduce environmental impacts.

To achieve this, measurement while drilling (MWD) data is captured and an algorithm called ΔE² converts MWD data into an explosive density suited to the specific geology in each blasthole; a unique and custom innovation.

This technology is then paired with Dyno Nobel’s specifically designed DynoBulk Mobile Processing Unit (MPU) to deliver emulsion accurately, by controlling the placement and density of the emulsion, while loading each blasthole with a single pass.

Dyno Nobel technical manager, Paul Klarić says, “if we can place the right energy in the right place in each blasthole during the loading process, customers will benefit from an all-round better result that carries through to downstream processes.”

“Ultimately, we’re optimising the explosive application with this technology so you need less product, which reduces costs, and the blast will produce better breakage and fragmentation.

“The Differential Energy emulsion has an increased ‘Velocity of Detonation’ which results in higher detonation pressures, which are known to contribute to the rock breakage process.”

Differential Energy accurately distributes energy according to the varied geology.

Most blast designs use the same density of explosive throughout a single blasthole, which can result in too much or too little energy and ultimately lead to unnecessary flyrock or poor fragmentation.

“You can achieve better results by varying density in the blasthole, or alternatively, the burden and spacing can be increased translating to less drilling required. This can lead to greater productivity through increased dig rates and improved downstream crushing and processing efficiencies,” adds Klarić.

Fragmentation is optimised through the unique proprietary variable density capability of the system and equivalent dig rates have been achieved with reduced powder factors. Powder factor reductions of up to 18 per cent have been achieved to date.

In addition to improving rock fragmentation, the Differential Energy system is much faster than a normal setup.

Klarić says, “Customers have the ability to load blastholes with up to one tonne of emulsion per minute, which is three times faster than traditional methods just by using Differential Energy and the Dynobulk MPU.”

Dyno Nobel’s technological innovations always have safety at their core and the Differential Energy system is no different.

The Differential Energy emulsion-based explosive seeks to reduce environmental issues associated with post-blast fumes.

Blasts carried out to date have resulted in zero NOx events, according to Klarić.

“Differential Energy has no prill in it; it’s 100 per cent homogenised emulsion that has increased viscosity in the blasthole compared to standard products,” Klarić says.

Since the product is so viscous, it offers superior in-hole retention that is less likely to spread to cracks and fissures in the ground.

“If there are fissures or cracks the explosive can seep into, it can result in inefficient areas of detonation and post blast fume as the column detonates. Therefore, Differential Energy promotes more efficient detonation, and a better overall blasting outcome,” Klarić says.

Dyno Nobel now has a local team to ensure the right people are well-positioned to provide the right energy in the right place and deliver the Differential Energy system to other mine sites across the region in coming months.

This article also appears in the August edition of Australian Mining.

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