A Western Australian innovation is making the drill and blast process safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly – and Shockwave Gel Technologies is keen to help more mine sites improve thanks to its patented STEMGEL technology.

Shockwave Executive Director of Business Development Mason Trouchet likens the company’s product, STEMGEL™, to ’solid water.’ “ STEMGEL™ is a hydrogel that  brings vastly improved stemming consistency and valuable environmental improvements compared to aggregate stemming.”

While there have been developments in the drill and blast space over the years, particularly in detonator technology and explosives, Shockwave has tackled “the missing link” – the often-overlooked stemming process.

Typically, miners stem a hole that’s been drilled for explosives with aggregate or cuttings – filling the hole around the detonator cord with crushed rocks to cork or contain the blast gas energy. Aggregate however has no effect on control of the pressure wave energy which is key for effective rock fragmentation.

“Most engineered Drill and Blast elements – the drilling, the detonator control, the explosives – are consistent, but then you have this one outlier of aggregate rock at the top of the hole.  Our solution to that is STEMGEL™ – a hydrogel, which is more effective and consistent every single time,” Trouchet said.

Read the full article at Mining Magazine here.