Blasting is a critical step in the mining process. Applying a huge amount of energy to fragment the rock means ore can be safely and efficiently moved and milled. Any uncontained exposure to this explosive energy carries a significant risk.
Currently, clearance and evacuation of the blasting exclusion zone is still a highly manual process relying on good communication and individual judgement. It is a challenging environment in big open pits with multiple access points at various levels of the mine, and with many people and equipment working independently. A court ruling in Queensland in 2017 highights.
A court ruling in Queensland in 2017 highights the accountability of Shotfirers to ensure not only their own safety, but that of others on site. The risk of death or serious injury by flyrock is unacceptable - a risk that is increased if anyone remains in the blast exclusion zone. Global miners need to put hard controls in place to ensure their people are protected from making the wrong call on the day.
One of the Pilbara’s largest iron ore producers has a long history of engaging with their business partners to find solutions to their needs. It’s this commitment to constant improvement, safety and efficiency that saw them implement DaveyTronic® initiation at all iron ore sites across Australia.
We were asked to work with our customer to design an engineered control embedded within the intiation system, for the protection of personnel required to initiate blasts.
As the name suggests, GPS lockout is a solution that integrates GPS technology in the initiation system. The exclusion zone is uploaded directly into the initiation system with the programming information. This ensures that any operation of the initiation system for final testing, charging and firing the detonators cannot occur inside this exclusion zone.
In partnership with our customer, Davey Bickford Enaex took this technology from conceptual design, to prototype and field testing phase and then to full implementation with our Product Specialists on all our customer’s sites.
All these sites now benefit from the increased safety associated with the use of DaveyTronic® GPS Lockout Technology.
DAVEY BICKFORD ENAEX | LARGE IRON ORE PRODUCER | PILBARA
Not only does our GPS lockout technology provide our customers with visualisation of a Shotfirer’s position relative to the exclusion zone on the DaveyTronic® Remote Blaster, our double swipe card safety system give Shotfirers and Blast Controllers a clear hierarchy of control.
All this means higher levels of safety and better planning and results with less down time.
Through our GPS positioning technology customers can permanently exclude critical infrastructure, such as office buildings and magazines, adding additional levels of security to the use and management of explosives.
Inappropriate use is further safe guarded against by being able to permanently disable blasting equipment from being used outside designated mining areas.
Our GPS technology also seamlessly integrates with mining networks, vehicles, equipment and personal tracking devices preventing initiation of the blast with personnel or equipment still inside the exclusion zone.