High-Intensity Blasting Improves Energy Efficiency

August 29, 2014 By Karen Henry

blasting-energy-manageMilling ore requires more electricity than any other part of the mining process, and Australian mining services company Orica has found a way to make the process more energy efficient, according to a Sourceable article.

By raising the explosive energy by several times, mines are able to produce a much finer ore, which in turn allows the mill to increase its throughput by as much as 40 percent. This lowers the energy consumption levels across the entire mining site, which could add up to millions of dollars in savings per year.

However, high-intensity blasting poses safety and environmental risks. To mitigate these risks, Orica has developed a method through which the explosive energy of a blast is contained in the surrounding rock through selective deployment of digital electronic initiation systems. After successfully testing the method in blast models, it was deployed safely in a large-scale production blast.

According to Orica, the new method has the potential to open up mining to ore bodies that were previously considered uneconomical or impractical.

The approach received the 2014 CEEC Medal from the Coalition for Eco-Efficient Comminution.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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