Safer blasting at Xstrata’s Bulga Coal mine

Xstrata is trialing new blasting products at its Bulga Coal mine.

According to the New South Wales Department of Planning, the miner is undertaking trials with new explosives following complaints after blasting threw coloured dust plumes into the air.

The Department’s latest audit and compliance report details outline its Singleton office’s 18 inspections of dust conditions at mines as well as inquiries into the complaints following Bulga’s blasting.

In the Bulga inquiry, it was found that the blast complied with over pressure and ground vibration requirements and that wind direction and speed were suitable for the blast to be fired.

The audit stated that the blast, which has drawn a number of complaints, was most likely caused by moisture resulting from wet conditions in the days prior to the blast.

Xstrata Coal’s spokesperson James Rickards has previously stated that despite concerns, the coloured plumes of dust raised by the blasting do not pose a health concern.

In the report, the Department of Planning was notified that the miner will be trailing new blast products in an aim to reduce fumes in wet conditions.

Dyno Nobel are currently the main supplier of blasting products for Bulga Coal.

During the dust inspections, the Department found that the majority of mines were operating within satisfactory standards, although one mine was found to have two faulty water carts, which resulted in dusty haul roads.

Following this inspection the miner modified its haul rotes and repaired its carts, leading to a drop in dust levels.


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