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Above-ground explosives depot does its job

Every day 20 miners collect a total of 200 kilograms of explosives from the above-ground depot. The project in the area of shaft VI of the Budryk mine is the first such undertaking in the Polish mining industry.

photos: Dawid Lach

One year has just passed since the launch of the “Innovative Above-Ground Permanent Explosives Storage Facility at the Budryk Mine.” The new depot is proving to be excellent, because, as intended, it has improved the circulation of explosives in the mine and reduced the cost of storing blasting agents used in underground operations.

“The solution has proven to work, and the amount of stored blasting agents is sufficient for further operation of the workings made accessible by shaft VI. Previously, we used the Mobile Explosives Storage Facility, where up to 250kg of all types of explosives could be stored in total, and there were times when these materials were in short supply for the employees of a given shift,” says Zbigniew Czarnecki, director of the Budryk mine, which belongs to JSW S.A.

The above-ground permanent explosives storage facility in Budryk is located about 330 meters from shaft VI. It is accessed by a paved, roofed and lit road, which improves transportation safety. The collected materials can be transported by miners on foot or by means of a “JSW-E” electric vehicle, the only one of its kind, produced under the project. The vehicle can carry 4 blast miners and transport 4 detonator charges and 7 cans of explosives.

“Thanks to the above-ground depot, we no longer have logistical problems related to the availability of the necessary materials. The depot contains up to 2 tons of blasting agents, 20,000 fuses and 900 meters of fuse. On an average day, 20 blast miners collect a total of about 200 kg of materials,” says Adam Zolneczko, head of the Blast Technology Department of the Budryk mine.

The inventory is constantly monitored, which is facilitated by “Triton” - a convenient and easy-to-use system for digital recording of blasting agents. “When preparing the materials for issue, each one is scanned, so any irregularities can be caught right away,” explains Dariusz Pietrzyba, issuing employee in the depot. Sebastian Czech, a blast miner from the G1 mining division, adds: “Now we get the blasting agents we need faster, but we can also be sure that they are always available.

Functionality and safety are not the only advantages of the new above-ground explosives depot. Its construction on the surface is four times cheaper than the construction of a similar one at the bottom of the mine and lasts several years shorter.

“The construction was possible thanks to the design of new solutions and the use of additional safety measures that were neither known nor specified in the current regulations," explains Mariusz Wielkopolan, President of the Management Board of JSW Nowe Projekty S.A.

The project was carried out by JSW S.A. and JSW Nowe Projekty S.A. in cooperation with the Central Mining Institute and ARH+ Mining CBR Sp. z o.o.

“We had to test the new safeguards, by means of laboratory and field tests, computer simulations and calculations. The solutions applied will be used in the future not only by mining companies storing blasting agents, but also by police and military units and tunnel drilling companies,” explains Stanisław Prusek, director of the Central Mining Institute.

The above-ground permanent explosives storage facility at the Budryk mine is located approximately 330 meters from Shaft VI. It is accessed by a paved, roofed and lit road, running along a broken line.
The facility of strategic importance for the mine has been in operation since April 2021.
The issuing employee scans the materials that a blast miner needs.
The blast miner checks the quantities that have been prepared for him in a materials checking chamber.
In front of the depot gate, igniters are collected and all the equipment is packed into a car that takes the blasters to shaft VI.
The blasters, along with the materials, are transported at the mine site by a special electric vehicle of the “JSW-E” type.
Shaft VI of the Budryk mine is an area where there will be a large concentration of work in the coming years.

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