Nitromak Dyno Nobel achieved a historic first in Turkey by successfully converting uphole production blasting in underground gold mine to bulk emulsion. By challenging typical operating methods and materials and being constraint by regulations, the Nitromak Dyno Nobel(NDN) team in collaboration with its customer,Tuprag Gold Mine, developed a pumpable bulk emulsion solution.
Designed for underground production and development blasting, the solution also incorporates a bulk decoupled charge for perimeter control. Tuprag Gold Mine’s, Mine Manager, Ergun Altintas said, “The Nitromak Dyno Nobel team joined our site in 2018 and continues to exceed our expectations by introducing innovative solutions and technologies that improve operational efficiencies for our site.”
While gassing emulsion using a mobile processing unit (MPU) is common practice in many Dyno Nobel operations around the world to maximise efficiency and safety, local legislation in Turkey prohibits gassing of emulsion on site. Gassing is a process which changes the emulsion’s Dangerous Goods classification from a Class Five Oxidising Agent into a Class One Explosive. The MPU on site gassing process also facilitates emulsion retention in upholes; a paramount operational requirement. By removing gassing abilities to work within legislation requirements, it became a significant challenge for the team. However, it also presented a unique opportunity to innovate and meet the customer’s needs by developing a solution that would deliver the same desired result under current legislative regulations.
Over the past year and a half, NDN worked to develop a customised, non-gassed emulsion and paired it with a modified DynoMiner Profile (DMP) Unit, integrated with a Normet carrier. The system was fully tested at NDN’s Soma plant to ensure the integrated solution was a success, prior to deploying for further trials at Tuprag Gold Mine near Izmir, Turkey. Initially, the emulsion was utilised in development rounds, while the newly modified DMP Unit (coined an ‘all-in-one’ underground charging unit), tested the new pumpable emulsion without gassing, for both production (uphole and downhole) blasting and development configurations. Further to standard development applications, a decoupled “or string loaded” charge can be deployed; enhancing the flexibility of the solution. Decoupled charging is a proven method for reducing blasted overbreak in development mining, whilst resulting in smoother profiles, improved brow conditions and safer, long life drives.
The combination of DMP and customised pumpable emulsion improves efficiency of charging the holes, by removing the manual loading technique of explosives typically required saving time, leading to increased operational efficiency and cost savings for the customer. By reducing ore dilution, overbreak, improving fragmentation and advance during development; this innovative solution optimizes overall blast outcomes. A year in the making, the team was able to collaborate effectively with their customer and supplier to achieve a historic first for blasting in Turkey.
Nitromak Dyno Nobel’s International Commercial Manager, Andrey Rapokhin said, “We appreciate efforts of the team both from Nitromak Dyno Nobel and Dyno Nobel Asia Pacific, which worked hard to make this happen. This is a groundbreaking performance!” This process has taken a significant step towards establishing the right ecosystem and process for future innovation projects in collaboration with customers. The team is now working on a trial schedule to roll out this solution at other mines across Turkey.