Brian Gillespie, Group Executive and President
Mining earth’s resources requires precision complemented with stellar expertise to achieve synergy in blasting and extraction activities. Popularly perceived as a force of destruction, blasting has a long history of accidents, and justifiably so, with many human lives lost to relatively avoidable circumstances. Fortunately, today, the advancement of explosive technologies and the incorporation of innovations such as AI through IoT devices have helped professionals in the field procure products that prioritize worker safety over everything else in and around a blast site. Many companies have delivered the most secure and reliable solutions, but Orica, the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and blasting systems, takes the cake.
Established in 1874 as an explosives supplier to the Victorian Goldmines in Australia, the multi-billion-dollar firm today has come to serve the mining, quarrying, oil and gas, and construction enterprises across the globe. It aces in producing and distributing safe explosives, blasting systems, mining chemicals, geotechnical monitoring, and digital mining solutions. Before elaborating on Orica’s blasting expertise, it is essential to mention that the company is second to none in its supply chain of sodium cyanide for gold extraction, where it provides round-the-clock ground support services for mining and tunneling operations.
Orica boasts a broad portfolio of in-house solutions catering to blasting, drilling, and fragmenting operations. Moreover, the company has acquired several companies offering mining and infrastructure technology solutions aimed at stabilizing ore bodies, protecting the structure of the mine, and keeping people out of harm’s way.
Orica has been collaborating with several research bodies in addition to the acquisitions to ensure that its blasting activities meet even the most stringent safety standards.
“We know our clients want to extract the ore body efficiently and achieve higher downstream productivity. Thus, Orica develops custom-made solutions to achieve desired outcomes more safely,” says Brian Gillespie, president and group executive of Orica.
Orica’s ore body knowledge—acquired from OREPro 3D—is coupled with its drill and blast technology to achieve improved fragmentation, reduced dilution, expanded pattern, and reduced oversize. The 4D, the blasting expert’s revolutionary bulk explosive system, enables controlled energy delivery for blasting operations by facilitating the change in geology across the blast site. This technology achieves maximum fragmentation, resulting in increased excavation productivity and ore processing. Orica’s Design-for- Outcome (DoF) solution additionally sets a benchmark in the industry by employing automation, machine learning (ML) algorithms, and cloud-hosted bigdata processing. The product helps clients visualize and sync the ore body features with blast energy at high resolutions, delivering a customized blast design creation. It allows mining companies to save time and costs by efficiently allocating explosive energy, resulting in consistently higher downstream productivity.
We know our clients want to extract the ore body efficiently and achieve higher downstream productivity. Thus, Orica develops custom-made solutions to achieve desirable outcomes more safely
Orica has developed WebGen: the world’s first truly wireless initiating system to further improve the safety and productivity of all operations. New mining processes and blasting procedures such as temporary pillar recovery are enabled by WebGen, streamlining on-site workflows and lower blasting costs. The solution simplifies pillar extraction— considered a high-cost, resource-intensive process—empowering clients to complete the same within 25 per cent of the initial estimates. Due to the elimination of downlines and surface connecting wires, the WebGen system uses magnetic waves to communicate with each primer—through rock, air, and water, eliminating the need for any physical intervention.
Combining its blast and drill expertise with cutting-edge digital solutions and a comprehensive range of services, Orica is revolutionizing mining and ore body extraction methods to make it a safer, efficient, and sustainable operation. With its universal reach and factories worldwide, Orica is uniquely positioned to leverage the latest digital innovations and deliver best-in-class solutions unscathed by the complications currently plaguing the industry.