DynaEnergetics and Newcrest Mining devise new blasting initiating system

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DynaEnergetics, a business of DMC Global Inc, has introduced Igneo, an “intrinsically safe initiating system designed for high temperature mining applications”.

The Igneo system is based on DynaEnergetics’ patented IS2™ initiating system, which is used by the oil and gas industry in well perforating operations, it says.

Igneo was developed in collaboration with Newcrest Mining, one of the largest gold mining companies in the world.

The company explained how the collaboration began: “Newcrest approached DynaEnergetics for assistance in developing an initiating system that would perform safely in the extreme conditions of its Lihir mine, located in the crater of the dormant Lihir volcano off the coast of Papua New Guinea. The active geothermal and geochemical environment makes Lihir the hottest open-cut gold mine in the world.”

The core of the Igneo system is the HTD150, an electronic detonator designed to withstand temperatures up to 150°C (302°F) for up to 48 hours. The device is encased in a specially coated copper shell, making it resistant to highly corrosive mining environments, according to the company. Like IS2, the HTD150 is immune to radio frequency interference, stray current and stray voltage, DynaEnergetics said.

The full system consists of the Igneo Digital Firing Panel, the Igneo Programming and Testing Device, and a specially designed Igneo booster charge. The system enables rapid programming, testing and simultaneous initiation of up to 1,000 HTD150 detonators, and also eliminates the need for sensitised booster emulsions, the company said.

Liam McNelis, Vice President of Research and Development for DynaEnergetics, said: “Igneo is the result of three years of close collaboration with the Newcrest team, led by Darren Francis, Principal for Drill and Blast.

“The outcome of our efforts is a highly intuitive and reliable system that has been proven effective under the extremely challenging conditions of the Lihir mine. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Newcrest as the multi-year Lihir project progresses into areas with even higher temperatures.”

Ian Grieves, President of DynaEnergetics, said: “Our development of the Igneo system opens the door to an important new market for DynaEnergetics. There are many large mining operations throughout the Pacific Rim that operate under high-temperature conditions. As we have done in the oil and gas industry, our objective is to work with leading operators to improve the safety, performance and profitability of their projects.”

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