Underground mining still has many jobs that in the modern working age seem hard, repetitive and dangerous. There is none more so than working on “charge up“. The handling of explosives, working at height at a recently drilled face, in an often time pressured environment is riskier than most mining tasks.
However, this essential part of the mining cycle has remained labour intensive for all underground operations. Now this latest concept from Epiroc and Orica looks to deliver mechanisation to loading of development faces. This could reduce exposure to operators of both explosives handling and also working at height, in an often geotechnically compromised position.
Epiroc and Orica really deliver a well-rounded concept in this video, right down to the built-in sump pump and lifter clearing head, all well thought out extras for real operator efficiencies. The system hinges on Orica’s recently released WebGen wireless detonator system. This is still a technology in its infancy, which clearly allows many efficiencies beyond the obvious tangle of cords at any current blast site. Well thought out designs like this rig concept could be just the beginning if this new wireless explosives system is proven & adopted by the industry.