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BME claims record blast in South Africa

BME, part of JSE-listed products and services company Omnia Group, said yesterday it had broken the South African record for the largest electronic detonator blast.
BME claims record blast in South Africa BME claims record blast in South Africa BME claims record blast in South Africa BME claims record blast in South Africa BME claims record blast in South Africa

Preparing for a BME blast in South Africa

Staff reporter

BME said it had initiated 3,780 detonators in a single blast at a manganese mine near Hotazel in the Northern Cape.

Area manager Kobus Boonzaaier said the latest record was once again achieved using the company's AXXIS GII electronic detonation system.

The company said it had earlier achieved a world record blast of 7,401 electronic detonators in the main pit of the Kansanshi copper mine in Africa.

"Before that, BME had also broken a world record in Australia, firing 7,350 detonators in a single blast at a large opencast coal mine in Queensland," the company said.

BME said it had pioneered the use of cold emulsion explosives in Africa and innovated a range of electronic initiation and digital blast planning solutions.

It said the latest record blast had used 461 tonnes of BME emulsion explosive, which charged 2,679 blast holes measuring an average depth of 9.2 metres, and moved 890,000t of overburden.

South Africa-based BME unveiled expansion plans five years ago as it installed former Orica veteran Joseph Keenan as head. 

It has a footprint in 17 African countries and entities in Australia, Canada, Indonesia and the US.