Orica introduces 4D system for underground operations

Orica selected the recent AusIMM Underground Operators Conference in Brisbane, Australia to unveil its new range of 4D bulk explosives for the underground market.

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 the release of the new underground system is all about delivering a precise, predictable product energy in the blasthole that ultimately gives 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 rock-breaking energy from mine to mill. 4D is a breakthrough solution that will unlock sustained value for our customers,” Melbourne said.

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 maximized orebody recovery, reduced dilution and rework through over-blasting, and better fragmentation all while optimizing explosives consumption. 

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

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