Australia gets first mine explosives test facility

New South Wales has launched an underground mine explosives facility on the Central Coast to encourage further innovation and development of explosive testing.

The independent underground mine explosives facility is the only one in Australia, and will aim to enhance the number of explosives that are suitable for underground coal mine use, while also furthering their safety development.

The facility will be managed by the Mine Safety Technology centre within the NSW Resources Regulator.

New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales John Barilaro launched the facility’s first round of explosive testing.

“This will be the only independent explosives testing facility of its kind in Australia, making NSW the nation’s leader in mine safety development,” he said.

“Currently, there are few explosives that can be used in underground coal mines and these kinds of explosives have a very short shelf life, they don’t travel well and need to be developed and tested locally.

“Under the control of the NSW Resources Regulator’s Mine Safety Technology Centre, this facility will be used to determine if locally made explosives are viable and meet vital safety requirements to protect the wellbeing of workers.”

Barilaro said this would also increase testing, experimentation and innovation from local explosives businesses.

“The industry benefits significantly from the use of explosives in underground mines and the facility launched today will allow greater testing, experimentation and innovation from local businesses that specialise in producing explosives for mines,” he said.

“The facility is also discreet, it has been built on the site of a quarry to reduce impact on the surrounding environment and computer modelling has been used to determine the most effective ways to reduce noise.”

Test rounds will occur at up to two to three times per year and are limited to working hours on weekdays.

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