Chemicals and explosives group Orica (ASX: ORI) and equipment manufacturer Epiroc Rock Drills AB will jointly develop a semi-automated explosives delivery system, enabling safer and more productive blasting operations in underground mines.
The Australian company, a world-leader in blasting technology and commercial explosives, is pursuing automation which is necessary as mines go deeper and ore bodies become more remote.
According to Orica Chief Commercial and Technology Officer Angus Melbourne: “This exciting partnership with Epiroc will allow us to leverage our wireless initiating system, WebGen, to deliver the critical first steps towards the automation of drill and blast operations.
“Automation is a key pillar of our technology strategy and supports our vision of transforming drill and blast to unlock mining value by creating safer and more sustainable operations.”
The size of ore particles created by blasting is a key determinant of the cost of further processing of ores, and hence of mine and processing plant efficiencies and costs.
The first prototype system is expected in 2020, with the first commercially available systems to enter service in 2021.
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