Explosives Energy

On June 30th 2020

How do I get value for money when purchasing and using bulk explosives? There are a number of issues that need to be considered, but what information do you really need from suppliers that will help make an informed decision? Simply looking at the price per tonne will seldom give you this yet, from a procurement perspective, this number seems to win far too frequently.

Most technical data sheets quote RBS (Relative Bulk Strength) or RWS (Relative Weight Strength) values but these are only partially helpful as what is really needed is the contained energy and how it is delivered. The contained energy and overall explosives properties are impacted by (amongst other things) the amount of water in the product, so it is good practice to get these values from your supplier. To make sure you get like-for-like comparisons, first match the bulk explosives to your rock type to make sure you can get the required blasting outcome. Then, ensure the optimal density for the bulk product has been defined for your geology. With that information in place, you can determine the unit cost or $/MJ for each of the products.

Next, the approach to product delivery (in other words, service standards) also needs consideration. You should ensure that explosive energy isn’t lost as a result of poor application and that you have appropriate mechanisms in place if this does occur.

By doing all of this, it will allow you to understand the “cost” per blast hole for your mine which may not have been immediately visible just by looking at the cost/tonne of the bulk explosive. Having correctly defined this cost, it is then easier to optimise the explosives energy that you use.

At Moncourt Group, we specialise in all aspects of commercial explosives and can provide deep insights and understanding of the market and industry to drive down the Total Cost of Ownership for our customers.

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