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Orica achieves milestone production of electronic detonators

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Orica, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems, today announced they have reached 100 million electronic detonators produced out of their manufacturing facility in Brownsburg (Canada).

The 100 millionth electronic blasting systems (EBS) detonator rolled off the production line today, marking a milestone achievement for Orica and the facility which supplies the detonators to customers around the world.  

Orica, Vice President, Electronic Blasting Systems, Adam Mooney said: “Reaching the 100 million mark demonstrates our commitment to customers in delivering a high quality and reliable supply of innovative blasting systems.   

“Our state-of-the-art Brownsburg facility produces the full range of EBS systems for surface and underground operations, including i-kon™, uni tronic™, eDev™ and the world-first wireless initiation system, WebGen™. These market-leading EBS technologies, combined with our technical expertise on the ground is how we deliver value to our customers every day.”  

Since the first generation EBS manufacturing in 2006 at Brownsburg, Orica has built on its success and continued to lead the industry with advanced initiation technologies, supporting customers to enhance productivity with larger blasts, achieve faster deployment and blast set-up for both small and large scale blasting, and improve overall fragmentation and vibration control.  

The safety and reliability of Orica’s EBS systems are the best in the industry, the products are designed to perform safely and reliably even under extreme conditions. This includes extreme events such as detonators being struck by lightning, which customers face every day around the world.  

Orica’s EBS detonators are specifically designed with multiple safety features which enable superior protection against high voltage electrostatic discharge which occur in lightning strikes. These safety features were highlighted recently when an i-kon™ III detonator in the Hunter Valley region of Australia was struck by lightning. The in-built safety features of i-kon™ performed as designed and did not result in an un-intended initiation of the explosive column.


Today, Brownsburg has expanded production to include WebGen, the world’s first wireless initiation technology in the mining industry. WebGen, Orica’s game-changing wireless technology is breaking barriers in the mining industry through elimination of exposure to high risk activities and enables new mining methods and blasting techniques capable of delivering faster loading cycles, lower cost of production and improved, more flexible blasting reliability and management.  


The system provides for groups of in-hole primers to be wirelessly initiated by a firing command that communicates through rock, water and air, removing constraints imposed by the requirement of a physical connection to each primer in a blast. 

WebGen is a critical pre-cursor to automation and Orica is proud to be leading the reimagination of the mining industry through digital, automated blasting with products and solutions like the BlastIQ™ platform, a cloud-based digital platform designed to enable continuous improvement of blasting outcomes through insights and data integration.


On top of producing market-leading EBS detonators, Brownsburg instils a strong safety and innovative culture. With over 300 employees, the main site occupies ninety acres in the middle of Brownsburg town, in Quebec (Canada).


Orica Vice President, Initiating Systems and Packaged Explosives Manufacturing, Leah Barlow said: “The Brownsburg facility prides itself on being a safety leader in Orica, with an excellent focus on robust safety systems and a proactive view to managing risk. Our robust quality control procedures coupled with a strong working relationship with our critical suppliers enable us to deliver EBS detonators that ensure safe, precise and reliable fires around the world. 


“We take the safety of our people and operations seriously and that includes the well-being of the local community. Our employees volunteer over 350 hours annually to benefit Brownsburg in areas such as education and healthcare. This 100 million mark milestone achievement is testament to the Orica commitment to safety, excellence and innovation and is as much an achievement to be shared with the local community for their support over the years.”


With the recent addition of a new EBS assembly line in Helidon, Australia, another key global manufacturing site for Orica, customers in the Australia Pacific and Asia region are now benefitting from a stronger and more efficient manufacturing and supply chain operation that ensures reliable and quality supply of EBS within the region.


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Australian mining news