Australia-Mining innovation has reached a tipping point with companies in a frenzy race to transform otherwise loose a lion’s share of the mining market. BHP recently announced its agreement with leading explosives supplier Dyno Nobel the yesteryear giant which seems now to be operating in the shadows on highly dynamic competitors like Orica, BME, AEL with is parent business Incitec Pivot Limited, set to invest in a blast technology research program to improve the safety and productivity across its Australian operations.
As part of a Technology Alliance Agreement with BHP, Dyno Nobel will invest $25 million over the next five years to pursue technology improvements that will directly benefit BHP’s mining operations.
Dyno Nobel’s research and development will be undertaken collaboratively with input from BHP, with the aim of focusing the investment in areas with the greatest potential impact.
For example, Dyno Nobel’s Differential Energy and Digishot Plus 4G technologies are proven to improve safety, efficiency and environmental impacts on the ground today. Furthermore, Dyno Nobel will have semi-autonomous mobile processing units (MPU) (the trucks that fill blast holes with explosives), developed by the end of this year, followed by the development of fully-autonomous MPUs – all of which have the potential to take people out of harm’s way and improve efficiency.
Dyno Nobel’s technology roadmap is broad including new developments in digital technologies, bulk explosives, equipment automation and initiating system including wireless technology.
In addition, BHP will provide ongoing reviews, feedback, and provide site access for prototype testing.
BHP Group Procurement Officer Sundeep Singh said: “The Technology Alliance Agreement is a great example of BHP partnering with suppliers to drive improvement that will benefit our company and the sector as a whole.”
“As well as providing an avenue to improve our own drill and blasting activities in Queensland and Western Australia, the partnership will support our pursuit of better environmental stewardship through a joint commitment to eradicate the use of palm oil in the explosive manufacturing process.”
Managing Director & CEO of Incitec Pivot Limited (owner of Dyno Nobel), Jeanne Johns said, “Our industry leading technology is on the ground today, and this joint value sharing Technology Alliance Agreement is an example of our customer focussed approach to building strong collaborative partnerships. I am excited about demonstrating the value of our current offer on the ground today and developing technologies with our valued customer and global mining house, BHP for the mine of the future”.
“Our leading explosives technology is clever in design, adds immediate value to BHP’s operation through productivity, safety and environmental benefits, and demonstrates the potential of technology to transform the Australian resources industry.” commented Jeanne Johns.
Pivotal to this alliance is Dyno Nobel’s market leading Differential Energy technology. With proven successes in the US market, it is now being rolled out to sites across Australia as the unmatched benefits are recognised by leading mining companies.
This Technology Alliance Agreement was an integral part of a suite of contract renewals for the supply of explosives products and services to BHP’s open cut operations at BMA, BHP Iron Ore and Nickel West.