BHP will partner with explosives supplier Dyno Nobel to invest in a blast technology research program to improve safety and productivity across its Australian operations.
As part of the agreement, Dyno Nobel will invest $25 million over the next five years to pursue technology improvements that benefit BHP’s operations.
Dyno Nobel’s research and development will be undertaken collaboratively with input from BHP, as well as ongoing reviews, feedback and site access for prototype testing.
The scope of the agreement includes a roadmap of new developments in digital technologies, bulk explosives, equipment automation and initiating systems including wireless technology.
More specifically, Dyno Nobel refers to its semi-autonomous mobile processing units (MPU), which the company expects to have developed by the end of this year, followed by the development of fully autonomous MPU’s.
The technology is not only designed to improve efficiency but also to take people out of harm’s way to enhance safety at BHP’s mine sites.
BHP group procurement officer Sundeep Singh said the technology alliance agreement was “a great example of BHP partnering with suppliers to drive improvement that will benefit (the) 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,” he said.
Incitec Pivot, which owns Dyno Nobel, stated the agreement was an example of the company’s customer-focussed approach.
“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,” Incitec chief executive officer Jeanne Johns said.
“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.”
The technology alliance agreement forms part of a suite of contract renewals for the supply of explosives products and services to BHP’s open cut operations at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, BHP Iron Ore and Nickel West.