Orica introduces 4D bulk explosives system for underground operations

Photo: Orica
Photo: Orica

Orica has unveiled the new range of 4D™ bulk  explosives for the underground market at AusIMM Underground Operators Conference in Brisbane, Australia. Designed for production and development  applications, the Subtek™ 4D™ range enables underground operators to gain  unprecedented control of energy through a single explosive solution that drives best  practice mining outcomes and sustainable blasting practices.

Following the launch of the 4D™ bulk systems for surface operations in 2021, Orica has now  developed a new bulk emulsion explosives delivery system for underground operators that allows precise control of in-hole explosive energy. With staged availability to Australian customers this  year and later release to the global market, Subtek™ 4D™ offers the widest available energy  range on the underground market with accurate matching of energy to suit varying rock properties and mine design requirements.

In combination with Orica’s proprietary emulsion chemistry, the suite of smart explosives delivery technologies integrated with the new 4D™ MaxiLoader™ allows instant application of selected  energy into the blasthole to match any complexity of blast design, as well as adjust energy  between blastholes or within an individual blasthole.

Orica Chief Technology Officer, Angus Melbourne said: "Our new 4D underground bulk emulsion  system is all about delivering a precise, predictable product energy in the blasthole that ultimately  gives our customers the capability and confidence to execute designs that are not possible today, where energy is matched to geological and mine design needs. The result is very targeted blasting  that facilitates optimal recovery of valuable orebodies while ensuring the most efficient use of rockbreaking energy from mine to mill. 4D is a breakthrough solution that will unlock sustained value for our customers."

Consistent and repeatable execution of the charging process is also a key capability of the system,  where the loading process is automated through Orica’s LOADPlus™ smart control system. This  ensures optimal application of product within the blasthole, while the wide range of usable relative  bulk strength options matches energy distribution to orebody conditions and mine design  requirements. The outcome is maximised orebody recovery, reduced dilution and rework through  over-blasting, and better fragmentation all while optimising explosives consumption.

Designed to offer superior blasthole retention and zero-waste energy change, the 4D™ innovation maximises the efficient use of explosive energy, minimises downstream energy consumption and  reduces potential environmental impacts due to residual or wasted product.