Following extensive research and development, AECI Mining Explosives has launched a significantly enhanced version of its bulk emulsion explosives. Appropriately dubbed Powergel X², the name indicates that the product can be used in extreme blasting conditions namely hot holes as well as in reactive ground conditions.
A much needed addition to AECI’s product offering is the introduction of its Powergel X² range. The product is designed for surface mining applications where extreme blasting conditions such as hot blast holes and reactive ground, or a combination of both, exist. The product is differentiated by the fact that most competitor products available in the market cater for either reactive ground or hot holes, but not both.
Powergel X² was developed and tested by some of the most dedicated and creative minds in AECI Mining’s Research and Development (R&D) department. “Powergel X² is an emulsion explosive employing some very clever chemistry corroborating extensive field experience and practical know-how,” explains Franky Botha, Product Portfolio Manager for Explosives.
“The product is unique in that it doesn’t sacrifice any performance, yet it is able to be deployed in areas where extreme ground conditions are present,” says Botha, adding that the product also has excellent fume characteristics and is water resistant. Another unique feature is that Powergel X2 can be doped with technical grade ammonium nitrate (TGAN) to achieve certain required blast outcomes. This however is dependent on the level of reactivity in the rock.
“Powergel X² provides a single solution for customers who experience these extreme ground conditions,” says Botha. This, he says, provides far-reaching benefits and reduced risk whilst simultaneously negating the need for high levels of inventory. It also eliminates the expensive and time consuming practice of having to sleeve holes in reactive ground.
To prove concept, the product has already been tested by exposing it to extreme external temperatures at Alkantpan in the Northern Cape, South Africa. “The product fared exceptionally well in all the tests conducted” says Botha.
Botha says in VOD tests conducted to date, the product performed beyond expectations.
In terms of targeted sectors, Botha says this product, with its heat resistance capabilities, will provide a significant advantage to clients in the coal sector by giving them a single solution for extreme ground conditions. “Its inhibitive qualities against reactive ground may certainly lead to possibilities of it being used in other sectors too,” he concludes.