Canadian Mining Journal


BLASTING: Orica reaches 100M electronic detonator milestone

Say good-bye to high risks and hello to faster loading, lower costs and flexibility with Orica’s WebGen.

BROWNSBURG, Que. – Orica , the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems, said the 100 millionth electronic blasting systems (EBS) detonator rolled off the production line on April 30, 2019, marking a milestone achievement for Orica and the Brownsburg facility which supplies the detonators to customers around the world.

Orica VP EBS Adam Mooney said, “Reaching the 100-million-mark demonstrates our commitment to customers in delivering a high quality and reliable supply of innovative blasting systems.”

The Brownsburg plant produces the full range of EBS systems for surface and underground operations, including i-kon, uni tronic, eDev and the world’s first wireless initiation system, WebGen.

Since the first generation EBS manufacturing in 2006 at Brownsburg, Orica has built on its success and continued to lead the industry with advanced initiation technologies, supporting customers to enhance productivity with larger blasts, achieve faster deployment and blast set-up for both small and large scale blasting, and improve overall fragmentation and vibration control.

The safety and reliability of Orica’s EBS systems are the best in the industry, the products are designed to perform safely and reliably even under extreme conditions. This includes extreme events such as detonators being struck by lightning, which customers face every day around the world.

Orica’s EBS detonators are specifically designed with multiple safety features which enable superior protection against high voltage electrostatic discharge which occur in lightning strikes. These safety features were highlighted recently when an i-kon III detonator in the Hunter Valley region of Australia was struck by lightning. The in-built safety features of i-kon performed as designed and did not result in an un-intended initiation of the explosive column.

Today, Brownsburg has expanded production to include WebGen, Orica’s game changing wireless technology is breaking barriers in the mining industry through elimination of exposure to high risk activities and enables new mining methods and blasting techniques capable of delivering faster loading cycles, lower cost of production and improved, more flexible blasting reliability and management.

The system provides for groups of in-hole primers to be wirelessly initiated by a firing command that communicates through rock, water and air, removing constraints imposed by the requirement of a physical connection to each primer in a blast.

WebGen is a critical pre-cursor to automation and Orica is proud to be leading the re-imagination of the mining industry through digital, automated blasting with products and solutions like the BlastIQ platform, a cloud-based digital platform designed to enable continuous improvement of blasting outcomes through insights and data integration.

On top of producing market-leading EBS detonators, Brownsburg instils a strong safety and innovative culture. With over 300 employees, the main site occupies ninety acres in the middle of a town.

With the recent addition of a new EBS assembly line in Helidon, Australia, another key global manufacturing site for Orica, customers in the Australia, Pacific and Asia region are now benefitting from a stronger and more efficient manufacturing and supply chain operation that ensures reliable and quality supply of EBS within the region.

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