Blasting is big business in Australia.
And even as the boom slows down, and begins to bite into the mining bottom line of explosives manufacturers such as Orica and Incitec Pivot, there are still opportunities in the space.
Which is why one foreign explosives manufacturer is looking to Australia as a prospective market.
Russian emulsion explosives maker, Nitro Sibir, has taken a massive leap into Australia, and is opening a new factory in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, to access the country’s emulsion marketplace.
Speaking to Duncan Minto, a technical manager for Nitro Sibir Australia, he told Australian Mining that the company is looking to being operating in the country as soon as possible.
“They have operated in Russia and Finland for sometime, and it has become routine for them, so Nitro Sibir is looking to expand its operations.
“They are currently looking at Africa, Canada, and Latin America,” he said.
“But in terms of Australia they want to dramatically increase their operational footprint in the country, as Australia is one of the most profitable regions for explosives companies in the world.”
But he was quick to state that it wasn’t looking to take the major on head to head, “instead we are looking at coming in with a different offering”.
“We are looking to provide shorter lead times and greater customisation, the focus is going to be on being more agile.
“Nitro Sibir is also looking at different approaches to delivering ammonium nitrate to mines, and providing it on site,” he added.
Minto went on to say that the company is also taking a different tack to most when setting up in Australia.
Instead of simply importing its emulsion, Nitro Sibir is already laying the ground work for manufacturing in Kalgoorlie. Nitro Sibir “already have a completely modularised emulsion plant, sitting in four separate containers waiting to be moved to Kalgoorlie where it can be built and commissioned,” Minto said, adding that it got the lease for the manufacturing site in December last year.
It is also a win for the local area, Minto stating that it will create between 15 to 20 jobs during construction, as well as new permanent jobs during operations. The company works with Australian company Explosives Manufacturing Services in Kalgoorlie.