Technology and Innovation

Our technology roadmap

Orica’s strategy is to deliver solutions and technology that drive productivity for our customers across the globe. To support this, our technology roadmap focuses on safety, productivity, sustainability, and recovery.

Please click here to see how Orica is helping our customers to reduce their environmental and social impact and here to better understand new technologies and partnerships to reduce our carbon footprint.

Customer Challenges  Strategy 

Safety

We aim to reduce, or completely remove, safety risks for our customers and reduce the need for human intervention in mining and mineral extraction. We continue to introduce new technologies focused on the safety needs of our customers, including products such as Avatel™, the world’s first mechanised development charging system. Avatel™ is a new technology developed in partnership with Epiroc, enabling the operator to locate, clean, prime, and load our bulk explosives and WebGen™ wireless initiating systems, without the need to place boots on the ground. 

Our BlastVision™ technology is taking leaps and bounds in both safety and productivity. Utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning algorithms, BlastVision™ translates high quality drone blast footage to record measurements of ground movement. Originally designed to monitor highwall stability immediately after blasting, this product is providing further benefits in blast performance during initiation.

The newly launched Exel™ Neo range is designed for use in civil infrastructure, surface and underground mining operations.  The Neo range of non-electric detonators is produced using a safer and lead-free formulation in Gyttorp, Sweden. There is no lead or lead compounds used in the manufacturing process of the pyrotechnic delay compositions and lead is now eliminated from release into the natural environment. The lead-free alternative can burn with the same accuracy as our current lead-based delay compositions, as confirmed through independent tests on timing accuracy and scatter patterns.

Sustainability

Orica is harnessing our technology to help enable improved social and environment outcomes. We are helping our customers improve safety and productivity with WebGen™, 4D™, Avatel™, and working to lower environmental footprints by offering recycled or lower-carbon and circular solutions such as Cyclo™ and the Exel™ Neo range.

Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES), a cloud-based software platform, is helping our customers reduce the use of energy and water in mining through the application of simulation, optimisation, and machine learning. Developed by Brisbane-based Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction, IES is integrating with our various blasting design technologies to provide a comprehensive, and integrated workflow solution across the mining value chain. 

As of FY2023, we have installed tertiary abatement technology in one of our nitric acid plants at our Carseland manufacturing site in Canada and all three nitric acid plants at our Kooragang Island manufacturing site in Australia,  which is now delivering approximately 95 per cent abatement efficiency from unabated levels and enabling the production of a lower-carbon intensity ammonium nitrate (AN) for customers.  

Productivity

Blasting remains at the core of our business model with new technologies and solutions such as WebGen™ and 4D™ enabling us to think and mine differently, and to operate more efficiently, precisely and responsibly.

Advancements in orebody intelligence, including recent acquisitions of RIG, HIG Technologies International, RHINO™, and Axis Mining Technology, is providing Orica with a full suite of digital solutions, expertise and leading products to better understand the geology of the rock prior to blasting, and enabling integrated digital workflow solutions across the entire mining value chain, from mine to mill.

Our integration of complex geotechnical data into our products such as SHOTPlus™ blast design and OREPro™ 3D modelling software, ensures we can deliver the right explosives into the right holes, and at the right time, to achieve the desired outcomes for our customers.

At the other end of the blasting process, FRAGTrack™ is providing customers with increased visibility over fragmentation and assisting in the management and productivity of blast operations and downstream processes.

Recovery

We focus on precision across the blasting process to help achieve better recovery rates and reduce energy usage for our customers. Starting with the exploration process, geospatial tools, such as the new capabilities from our orebody intelligence with Axis Mining Technology, help our customers identify the location of drill holes with the highest levels of precision. Additional technology solutions from our orebody intelligence offering provides geophysical measurements for each hole allowing for detailed and timely characterisation of the orebody.

We achieve further precision, with products such as RHINO™, a drillstring-mounted geophysical sensor that provides Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS) using fine spatial sampling while drilling, and streaming in real-time to the cloud. Customers combine this intimate knowledge of the orebody with our new 4D™ bulk explosive technology to match the rock conditions and enable a greater range of explosive energy, resulting in optimised blast outcomes and improved recovery of ore.