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Mining giant claims world’s biggest blast in Central Qld

BMA Caval Ridge Coal Mine explosion
BMA Caval Ridge Coal Mine explosion

A multinational resources producer has completed what is promised to be the largest ever controlled explosion in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) recently carried out what it claims to be the world’s largest electronic blast at its Caval Ridge Coal Mine, 170km southwest of Mackay.

4.7M cubic metres shifted

Engineers, schedulers and the E and F blast crews spent two weeks loading 2194 tonnes of bulk explosives into 3899 holes in order to execute four blast patterns in December. A total of 8144 detonators also helped safely relocate the 4.7 million cubic metres of overburden.

BMA revealed its biggest ever blast was also cost effective since it used Dyno Nobel DigiShot technology supplied by Drill Blast and Geology to help fire larger blasts, multiple blast patterns in a single event while reducing downtime plus potential malfunctions.

“Timings for the detonators are fully programmable and each blast hole is physically connected to the surface by a wire but the systems is less complicated and fully digitised, which means higher fidelity of tie in to reduce misfire potential,” Caval Ridge drill and blast superintendent Dallas Gostelow said in a public statement.

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Drill Blast and Geology celebrated the outcome as an example of good teamwork between asset, function and supplier.

“This is a perfect example of the commercial teams working in the background to strengthen a supplier relationship and the site and supplier working together to deliver superior results,” principal category management TCO Jason Smith said. “The significance of it is the precision timing you can get from using electronics rather than pyrotechnical blasting, which requires thousands of metres of on bench tie-in work, and can lead to poor blast fragmentation.”

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  • Hey all of you, can you see the Black Dust from Coal is a disease?
    Black lung advocates say 20 Queenslanders diagnosed with coal dust diseases in a fortnight
    Here is one comment; The struggle for recognition
    Allan Whyte spent 46 years working in Queensland’s coal mines and has now been diagnosed with coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) — or ‘black lung’.
    His doctors say he is on borrowed time.
    “I can’t walk from here to the car because I’m out of breath. I can’t do anything at all,” Mr Whyte said.
    “My doctor in Brisbane told me to come back in four months … but he doesn’t know if I’ll make it back.”
    International expert Dr Robert Cohen has diagnosed Mr Whyte with CWP, but the miner said doctors in Australia would not recognise he had the disease.
    “Even when you get the leading expert in the world to say that you have it, our blokes will still say you are ‘idiopathic’ … which means to say they don’t know what the bloody hell they are talking about,” Mr Whyte said.

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