Fortescue adopts Dyno Nobel differential energy

Fortescue's Iron Bridge magnetite project.

The Iron Bridge magnetite project. Image: Fortescue Metals Group.

Incitec Pivot business Dyno Nobel will supply its differential energy blasting technology to Fortescue Metals Group on a six-year performance-based contract.

The solution will be implemented at Fortescue’s Iron Bridge magnetite project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia

Differential energy tailors the explosives energy to the rock properties in a blast hole, resulting in higher energy blasting for harder rock types – such as magnetite – and less intense blasting for softer orebodies, waste and overburden.

“Customers are increasingly coming to appreciate how differential energy can reduce downstream capital and processing costs, whilst improving productivity and reducing emissions from blasting,” Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific president Greg Hayne said.

In 2019, Fortescue operations managers visited Dyno Nobel’s operations in the Iron Range of Minnesota and Michigan, USA, where differential energy emulsion technology is being used successfully on hard taconite deposits similar to Iron Bridge’s magnetite orebodies.

By mid-decade, Dyno Nobel will provide 25,000 tonnes per year of differential energy emulsion for use at Iron Bridge.

Dyno Nobel first showcased its differential energy technology at the 2019 International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC).

The technology allows companies to change the way it completes tasks, including the introduction of automated vehicles for jobs such as loading boreholes with explosives and detonators.

Differential energy has the benefit of safety as it removes workers from operating around hazardous environments and machinery.

It is also unlike typical explosives as differential energy techniques don’t require a number of different materials to be blended together, it requires just one product that can be stored on-site.

The six-year contract commenced last month and builds on Dyno Nobel’s existing relationship with Fortescue in the Pilbara.

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