Blasting solutions that take mines into digital age

JOE KEENAN The Internet of Things will be an important driver of blasting safety and efficiency

XPLOLOG XPLOLOG captures data that can be used to improve blasting efficiencies in an easy manner

19th October 2018


Font size: - +

As mining companies rapidly shift their strategies and operating models to leverage digital transformation, new technologies in blasting and explosives are making an ever more vital contribution to bottom-line improvements.

A combination of market volatility, changing global demand and radically different input economics has contributed to a seismic shift in the industry, according to Johannesburg-based blasting company BME MD Joe Keenan.

“Automation in mines, new analytic capabilities, digital workers and remote operation are just some examples where technologies are disrupting the mining industry today,” says Keenan. “At BME, our turnkey blasting offering is based on our ongoing investment in technology in precisely these fields, combining the power of mobile computing and cloud data storage to enhance safety, productivity and information transparency, allowing quicker and better decision-making.”

Further, Keenan highlights the Internet of Things (IoT) as an important driver of mine profitability through safe, efficient and automated operations.

“Our AXXIS centralised blasting system, for example, takes the benefits of electronic detonation into the underground environment – with active monitoring and detection that gives mines the ability to take corrective action before a blast instead of just remedial action afterwards,” he says. “The system’s data collection capability provides faster insights and improved blast prediction using advanced analytics and data tools; it also allows data visualisation through dashboards and easier information accessibility.”

In similar fashion, BME’s XPLOLOG technology closely monitors the activity and performance of teams conducting drilling, charging and stemming on a blast site – and controls the utilisation of key resources like emulsions.

“XPLOLOG captures detailed information on each hole, picking up inconsistencies or issues that could reduce the quality of a blast,” he says. “This easy-to-use tool can upload and download data, presenting it on a dashboard for better management decision-making – and integrates with our powerful BLASTMAP III design software.”

Driving this work is BME’s Innovation Hub, a dedicated division that commercialises its technology to benefit customers. Staffed by experts including physicists, engineers and chemists, it continuously improves various aspects of the company’s offerings – from emulsion formulations and blast modelling, to mobile app technology and data transparency.

“The landscape of Mining 4.0 is no longer about commodities; rather, the focus is now on embracing technology and evolving as an industry,” says Keenan. “This means increasing collaboration between mines and their partners; we are constantly being approached by our customers to participate in new mining technologies, so we work increasingly in collaboration with them to find solutions for the industry as a whole.”

In addition, a more interconnected and information-based mining operation will continue to push the envelope of which activities really need human interaction – and which can be automated. The possibilities for new operating models and new levels of optimisation will create the next wave of differentiation in the industry, he concludes.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features



Booyco Electronics
Booyco Electronics

Booyco Electronics, South African pioneer of Proximity Detection Systems, offers safety solutions for underground and surface mining, quarrying,...

Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East
Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East

Weir Minerals Europe, Middle East and Africa is a global supplier of excellent minerals solutions, including pumps, valves, hydrocyclones,...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (01/12/2023)
1st December 2023
Photo of Martin Creamer
Jupiter Mines, Copper 360 and DRDGold make headlines
1st December 2023

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.159 0.189s - 90pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now