Omnia’s blasting and explosives company BME is forging ahead with its global expansion plans, targeting high-potential markets in Africa, Canada, Australia, and Indonesia. BME managing director, Ralf Hennecke, highlights that this strategic move is integral to the company’s growth. He finds these markets particularly attractive due to their high rates of mineral exploration and the diversity of battery and other minerals essential for future expansion.
BME’s global footprint expands with a focus on diverse markets, strategic partnerships, and cutting-edge technology. Source: Supplied
Much of the achievement of recent years has been establishing of infrastructure in these markets, setting itself up to serve its customer base there. In Canada for instance, the company has been busy in recent years building assembly plants for electronic and non-electric detonators.
“This gives us the opportunity to highlight our differentiators such as our blasting technology and digital tools, as well as blasting products and our high level of technical service,” he explained. Each market had its own specific conditions, he emphasised, so the approach has to be tailored.
In Indonesia, the partnership with leading explosives producers MNK allows BME to contribute its blasting tools and equipment to new segments. While the softer mineral environments like coal are not as demanding in respect of technology, digitisation and services, there are a range of minerals and metals in Indonesia.
“In Australia, we have been successfully conducting electronic detonator trials, and are also building infrastructure,” he said. “This includes plants in the east and west of the country.”
“We are also successfully partnering in the field of technology – where our recent tie-up with Hypex Bio strengthens our sustainability ambitions for non-nitrous emulsions,” he said. “Using hydrogen peroxide is a ground-breaking technology in our sector, and a direction that we want to help pioneer globally.”
BME MD Ralf Hennecke
He highlighted that this partnership also adds to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) conversation which BME has with its mining customers and opens doors in new and existing markets. The company’s dual-salt emulsions are already assisting mines to meet their decarbonisation targets, due to the lower greenhouse gas emissions from blasts.
Much lower proportions of ammonia in its emulsions also reduces the risk of environmental contamination – an ongoing concern for miners.
Having built considerable in-house digital expertise, the company nonetheless continues to prioritise more partnerships that leverage cutting-edge technologies. Collaborations in these fast-developing fields are likely to feed into the company’s established efforts to automate areas like emulsion truck operations.
Henecke pointed to the growing number of mining companies who are looking to automate their sites, and who are looking for innovative solutions to facilitate this process.
BME has already introduced smart functionality into its mobile manufacturing units, using its Xplolog and Xplocharge solutions to enable real-time monitoring, data capture and analysis. This is raising the bar in the accuracy of emulsion pumping into blastholes, allowing cost savings and efficiency.
“Our global expansion is supported by the enabling ecosystem that we provide for customers, to achieve quality blasts which reduce downstream costs while enhancing energy efficiency,” said Hennecke. “This aligns with our customers’ sustainability goals while ensuring optimal productivity.”
He explained that BME is already working on the next generation of electronic detonators, and continuing to enhance accuracy to deliver blast results that support ESG targets.