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Another world record blast for BME

Blasting and explosives leader BME has broken the world record for the most electronic detonators fired in a single blast – this time in conjunction with its client Kansanshi Mining PLC at its Kansanshi operation, 80% owned by First Quantum Minerals Limited in North-Western Zambia.

The blast was conducted on 29 September 2017 in the main pit of Kansanshi Mine, which is the largest copper mine in Africa by copper production, and involved 6,690 electronic delay detonators (EDDs) – successfully initiated using BME’s AXXIS digital initiation system.

According to Wayde De Bruin, Area Manager for BME Zambia, all the holes were single-primed, with a set-up that included nine different shots, 18 slave blasting boxes and one master box.

“The blast moved approximately 455,000 bank cubic metres (BCMs) and consumed a total of 400 tonnes of emulsion explosives – yielding an overall average powder factor of 0,9 kilograms per cubic metre,” said De Bruin. “The blasts were offset to keep the mass charge per delay to a minimum; the highest timing recorded on this blast was 6,520 milliseconds.”

BME’s AXXIS global product manager, Tinus Brits, highlighted the company’s technical ability to continually push the boundaries through its innovations and in-house research capacity.

“This blast follows previous records that BME has achieved in the past with our EDDs,” said Brits. “Just two years ago at Kansanshi, we set an in-house record with 4,141 EDDs in a single blast.”

In the latest blast, a seven-member crew logged and tested the blocks over a period of two days – pre-charging the shots on 20 September 2017 and completing on 28 September 2017.

Electronic initiation is becoming increasingly popular due to the reliability, accuracy and timing-flexibility of these devices, making blasting practice more predictable and allowing for larger and more cost-effective blasts.

About BME

BME is the leading supplier of explosives and services to the African mining, quarrying and construction industries. Focusing on safety, supply security and value adding technical services, BME strives to remain at the forefront of technology by regularly participating in the research and trials of new blasting techniques and products, as well as attending and presenting at technical conferences worldwide. BME has operations in Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, DRC, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, South Africa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and where opportunities present themselves.