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On-site explosives storage system can be adapted to any environment.

On-site explosives storage system can be adapted to any environment

ICI Explosives has developed a new system for the on-site storage of explosives.

The Handi-Bulk System, developed in Canada, adapts itself to any environment. It has been made possible through the flexibility of emulsion technology. The viscous, liquid explosive - developed to a consistency suitable to the bore hole - is blended on location. It is them pumped into the hole.

The explosive is shipped from the central manufacturing site to the drill site in 20-ton-capacity tankers.

Roy Aspden, manager of Handi-Bulk sales for ICI, says the benefits are numerous, but large quantities of explosives must be used to make the system economically viable.

There are currently 15 on-site plants across Canada and the technology is continuously being developed.

The containers are reusable, eliminating the disposable packaging used with traditional explosives, and they eliminate the need to store packaged explosives in surface magazines.

David Proudfoot, technical services manager for Porcupine Powder, loaded 60 metric tons into Placer Dome Inc.'s Dome Mine in eight days.

If the same weight of explosives in cartridges was handled, it would take about two months to load, said Proudfoot.

Another advantage, said Aspden, is the efficiency of multiple-handling emulsions. Drilling bore holes is expensive, he noted. If the product does not fill the hole, then the company is not getting full value.

Product specifications vary. A quarry operator may want increased density so he can drill less and open the drill pattern. For construction companies, speed is often the critical element.

Equipment has been developed to meet specific needs. Each piece is given a name to suit its specifications. As Porcupine Powder president Pat O'Connell says, Aspden "has a whole zoo full of them."

The Badger, for instance, is an air-operated piece of equipment which was custom-built for Dome. It had to be able to pass under a low clearance in the underground mine.

Another piece of equipment, the grizzly, can be rapidly modified to deliver a range of emulsion blends over a wide service area. A modified log skidder, used on rough terrain, is called the goat.

The most important aspect of development, to Aspden, is the process gear - the equipment on the vehicles which pumps and blends explosives.
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Title Annotation:Mining Report; ICI Explosives
Author:Smith, Marjie
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Oct 1, 1990
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