Orica launches the next generation of its BlastIQ digital platform

Orica, a manufacturer of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems, has released the next generation of its BlastIQ digital blast optimisation platform.
Orica launches the next generation of its BlastIQ digital platform Orica launches the next generation of its BlastIQ digital platform Orica launches the next generation of its BlastIQ digital platform Orica launches the next generation of its BlastIQ digital platform Orica launches the next generation of its BlastIQ digital platform

The Orica BlastIQ™ Mobile interface on bench

Duncan Moore


Duncan Moore

The latest version of Orica's digital platform is designed to optimise blasting outcomes by integrating data and insights from digitally connected technologies across the drill and blast process. Solutions enabled by BlastIQ can deliver predictable and sustainable improvements that can reduce the overall cost of drill and blast operations, improve productivity and safety, and facilitate regulatory compliance.

"The downstream impact of variable and poorly controlled blast outcomes today can impact as much as 80 per cent of the total mine processing costs, this presents a significant opportunity for the industry. The new BlastIQ Platform enhances blast performance and outcomes for customers by seamlessly connecting data under a single platform," explained Angus Melbourne, Orica's chief commercial officer. "Soon the platform will link geoscientific, blast modelling and design data with measured field operations data, optimised blast delivery and advanced learning for continuous improvement.

The suite of enhanced technologies in the next generation BlastIQ allows mine managers and engineers to make better decisions and increase control of blasting outcomes across mining and quarrying operations.

The information management component of the platform provides a secure, centralised online location for users to collate and collaborate on data from across the drill and blast process. This accelerates planning, analysis and auditing of blast data to satisfy regulatory requirements.

Optimised blast designs are developed using Orica's market-leading SHOTPlus 3D design and modelling software. Evolved over 30 years, the advanced design tool has proven capability to manage both simple and complex blast designs and initiation sequences.

Orica global digital product manager, Angelo Labriola details the benefits of the new platform: "Our SHOTPlus design tool improves productivity by integrating seamlessly with the BlastIQ Platform. This allows blast loading instructions and rules to be communicated in near real-time to field operations, ensuring the right explosive type and quantity is used in the right place and subsequently initiated at the right time, every time.

"Improved in-field blast quality control and assurance is achieved using the new BlastIQ Mobile device, enabling the efficient capture of auditable data direct from the bench. Blasthole condition data is captured with the BlastIQ Mobile device in near real-time, allowing data to be shared between operations and engineering personnel from anywhere on-site, at any time, empowering rapid decision making and improved operational efficiencies."

The complete Blast Control Solution, enabled by the BlastIQ Platform, offers a complete integration between the explosives delivery control system, blast design and quality management systems, Labriola explains: "In a world-first, accuracy and efficiency of explosives delivery is significantly enhanced through the new BlastIQ enabled delivery system, with loading and delivery to design now fully integrated. Orica's Mobile Manufacturing Unit (MMU) delivery systems, in particular the recently released Bulkmaster 7 unit, can be integrated into BlastIQ to wirelessly receive blast designs updated with near real-time blasthole quality data, while on bench.

"Using this data, Orica's connected, smart delivery systems load the correct explosive type and quantity according to the original design, adjusted based on blasthole condition measurement data and the automated application of a defined set of rules managed by the drill and blast engineer. This unique, direct integration with the delivery control system automates process control, thereby eliminating errors in manual product selection, process control and incorrect logging of loading actuals, as well as importantly reducing overall explosives loading times."