PRESS RELEASE: Designed for use in the open-cut mining sector, the Bulkmaster 7 is the latest evolution of Orica’s delivery system technology, designed to deliver a leap in productivity and safety on bench, and another significant step towards automating drill and blast operations in the future.
Darryl Cuzzubbo, group executive and president, Australia Pacific & Asia at Orica, said: “The Bulkmaster 7’s significantly increased payload, loadout rates and bin flexibility is fundamental to improving our customers productivity, offering a clear competitive advantage for our customers, and in turn for us. We are continually advancing our delivery systems in both underground and surface applications, and believe delivery systems form a fundamental building block to providing a superior service to our customers.”
The first Bulkmaster 7 unit commenced operation this month at the Fortescue Metals Group Solomon operations, located in the resource-rich Pilbara region of Western Australia. By fully integrating the Bulkmaster 7 units, combined with advanced operational services, Orica expects to reduce the number of MMU asset requirements by 30%, delivering explosives safely and efficiently, while reducing the total cost of operation for the mine.
Elizabeth Gaines, CEO of Fortescue, stated: “Fortescue has a proud history of embracing leading edge technologies and new ideas. We are pleased to be working with Orica on the roll-out of this new technology at our Pilbara operations as part of our constant drive in continuing our productivity and efficiency improvements.”
The significant performance improvements have been achieved through a series of technical innovations in the new generation delivery system, including:
- A proprietary bin shape to optimise ammonium nitrate flowability, minimise weight, evenly distribute stresses and lower the centre of gravity. Designed to significantly improve reliability, stability, safety, and increase total bulk explosives product holding capacity of up to 20.9t of Fortan and 22.5t of Fortis;
- Specially designed augers and significantly increased power capacity to improve delivery rates and allow for new material metering methods. Allowing for accurate Fortan and Fortis delivery rates of 1100kg/min and 550kg/min respectively; and
- Integrated hydraulic, sensor and control system technology. Optimising usability and formulation quality at high speeds.
Nick Harrison, senior manager, Bulkmaster 7 integrated project team at Orica, discussed the advancements made in the new unit, saying: “By combining our global field expertise and MMU design experience, we’ve been able to test the boundaries of traditional delivery system construction. We have dramatically improved the carrying capacity, accuracy, delivery speeds and variances in material properties, with greater stability and a more ergonomic design. It sets the new global standard in delivery system productivity and safety.”
The Bulkmaster 7 also fully integrates with LOADPlus, a BlastIQ-enabled smart control system technology, to deliver products transparently and accurately in accordance with site requirements. The BlastIQ system delivers a range of technology solutions to improve productivity, save time and reduce the overall cost of drill and blast operations.
As the mining industry moves ever closer to automating the entire mining value chain, Orica stated that the release of the new Bulkmaster 7 signifies yet another successful milestone in the company's overall technology vision. This vision includes WebGen, the world’s first truly wireless initiating system, the BlastIQ system and continually advancing Orica’s bulk product range and delivery methods to revolutionise drill and blast operations of the future.
The Bulkmaster 7 will be progressively rolled out in Australia throughout 2018 and 2019, and according to Orica will provide a competitive advantage to those adopting the new technology.