CMIC, Olitek team up automated, safer explosives charging

Advancing the underground ramp at the Whale Tail deposit in Nunavut. Credit: Agnico Eagle Mines.

The Canadian Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) in Ottawa and Olitek Mining Robotics of Queensland, Australia, are collaborating on the creation of a remote charge-up unit (RCU) for explosives. The project supports the CMIC’s Safe Deep Development and Mine Development in High Stress initiatives

Loading explosives at the face is one of the most hazardous jobs in an underground mine. The prototype RCU will be designed to keep blasters at least four or five metres away from the development face. It will also provide faster manual charge-up options to reduce exposure time for existing operations.

Key to the RCU is Olitek’s innovative “trigger assembly”, that installs low-cost conventional detonators mechanically, increases both safety and efficiency.

CMIC will manage the consortium of sponsors, which include Agnico Eagle (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM), (TSX: NCM; ASX: NCM), Glencore (LSE: GLEN), Vale (NYSE: VALE), and Olitek.

For more information contact CMIC innovation manager Trevor Kelley at

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