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Orica launches lead-free non-electric detonator range

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Global Mining Review,

Orica has announced the commercial release of the world’s first lead-free non-electric detonator range, Exel™ Neo.

Orica launches lead-free non-electric detonator range

The company has upgraded its premium Exel product range to a safer and more sustainable product by removing lead, while maintaining the same consistent and reliable product performance.

Neo is Orica’s new brand for environmentally friendly, sustainable initiation systems products. The Neo range of Exel non-electric detonators is produced using a lead-free formulation in Gyttorp, Sweden, with no lead or lead compounds used in the manufacturing process of the pyrotechnic delay compositions.

In the industry, Exel non-electric blasting technology range encompasses safety, innovation, and excellence and is built based on the non primary explosives detonator (NPED) technology, successfully used by Orica for the last 30 years. Same as the original Exel range, the newly launched Exel Neo range is designed for use in civil infrastructure, as well as surface and underground mining operations.

Angus Melbourne, Orica Chief Technology Officer, said:

“Orica’s strategy is to deliver solutions and technology that drive productivity for our customers across the globe. With nearly 150 years of innovation and expertise, we continue to solve the industry’s challenges and are proud to offer a lead-free solution today, while maintaining the same trusted performance, storage, and handling benefits. With our Neo range, we are offering a product that is free of substances of very high concern (VHC).”

Before being placed on the market in Europe, the Neo product range was successfully assessed and approved by the Explosive Notified Body as part of CE-marking certification in the European Union. The new fully lead-free products do not contain any substances of very high concern (SVHC), according to the European Union’s registration, evaluation, authorisation, and restriction of chemicals (REACH) regulation.

Among some of the key benefits, the new product range is manufactured close to Orica’s customer base in Europe and includes distinct safety and environmental benefits, with lead or lead compound removed from the production process and thus eliminated from release into environment.

Johan Arnell, Engineer from the Department of Electrification and Reliability at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, said:

“After many years of good cooperation between RISE and Orica, I can only congratulate you on the launch of your new product.”

Celebrating this milestone, James Bonnor, Orica Group Executive and EMEA President, added:

“Orica is taking decisive steps to enable our industry’s transition towards a more sustainable future. We have invested in the state-of-the-art equipment in Sweden, including assembly machines and control systems, to ensure high quality of our products. The Exel Neo range is based on our NPED technology that’s been in the European market for 30 years.

“With the Neo addition, we have successfully developed, independently tested and trialled a lead-free alternative that can burn with the same accuracy as our current lead-based delay compositions. Importantly for our customers, independent external tests on timing accuracy and scatter patterns confirm that this new technology performs with the same reliability.

“The full Exel Neo range of non-electric detonators is available for order in Europe today.”

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