Posted by Daniel Gleeson on August 15, 2022
Mining support technology, BLAST DOG, which was developed in Australia by IMDEX Limited, is set to be used at Iron Bridge operations in Pilbara, Western Australia under a new three-year agreement.
Iron Bridge is an unincorporated joint venture between FMG Iron Bridge, a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group, and Formosa Steel IB, with the agreement being the first commercial application of IMDEX’s BLAST DOG.
The deal provides for the phased use of BLAST DOG, which IMDEX says will generate revenue of A$13 million ($9.2 million) over the initial term.
The BLAST DOG is a commodity-independent physical blast hole detection and measurement technology that is deployed semi-autonomously to record material properties and characteristics of high spatial density blast holes on the bench and the mine.
IMDEX Managing Director Paul House said this contract was a watershed moment for IMDEX.
“This is a local technology designed to provide significant and quantifiable benefits to the mining industry,” House said.
“We don’t know of any other technology that can produce the same amount and quality of rock data before blasting and have such a significant impact on downstream processes.”
“The commercial success of BLAST DOG reflected in today’s announcement is a credit to the IMDEX R&D team and their drive to make a difference in the mining industry.”
IMDEX Chief Geoscientist Dave Lawie said the company overcame many hurdles, including mine access issues caused by COVID-19, to complete the BLAST DOG project in Australia and around the world. Americas.
“Today’s announcement is exciting because we know what BLAST DOG can produce,” said Lawie.
“This is recognition of five years of intense effort in the United States, Queensland, Western Australia and Chile in collaboration with our METS Ignited project partners.
“In addition to work for the Iron Bridge joint venture, we are involved in ongoing pre-commercial trials at various operations in Australia, Canada and Chile.”
IMDEX’s BLAST DOG provides measurements of the physical properties of materials prior to drilling blast holes to inform decisions about blasting, screening, mixing, and stockpiling, among other things, before these materials go through processing. These properties form the inputs for a tactical approach to ore characterization and processing, explains IMDEX.
Possible benefits offered by IMDEX’s BLAST DOG include the ability for mining companies to develop programs that:
- Optimize selection and explosive costs;
- Improve fragmentation;
- Improve control of materials and grades;
- Reduce geotechnical risks;
- Detect voids;
- Define ore boundaries and prevent dilution of waste ore; and
- Reduces fumes, flying particles, vibration, air blast and dust.
The BLAST DOG contract capped off a year in which IMDEX achieved record sales, record profits and continued margin expansion.
It recorded record revenues of $341.8 million, an increase of 29.3% over the same period last year; alongside a record EBITDA of A$104.9 million, a 38.9% increase over last year; and net profit after tax of A$44.7 million, up 41% from a year ago.