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27 December 2023
EVOBLAST Group of Companies continues to use radio blasting technology at its sites to maintain the safety of drilling and blasting operations.

The technology makes it possible to reduce the time of preparation for blasting and reduce the cost of initiation network wiring to transfer the detonating impulse.

The system consists of a control panel, a receiver, a spark arrester and an antenna on a tripod or on a magnetic base. The developers have looked ahead and made two configurations to initiate one, two, or more rounds.

The radio-controlled starter, operating both with an electric detonator and a shock wave tube, can transmit and receive a radio signal at a distance of up to 7000 meters in line-of-sight conditions. The standby time of the receiver is 24 hours. Thanks to the use of two independent firing codes, the device is protected against false tripping in the “starter – receiver” channel.

When a radio signal is sent from the starter (control panel), the receiver executes the command and sends the confirmation back to the panel. Thus, the operator monitors the initiation status in real time. In the mass initiation mode (up to 40 receivers), the radio communication range between the panel and the receiver can reach 7000 m in line-of-sight conditions, and so the registration of the RF spectrum use is not required.

The control panel and receiver units are user-friendly and easy to use, with the help of light indicators, you can

constantly monitor the quality of the radio signal. In case of power surge, a backup power source is available.

Special attention should be paid to the ability of the system to control several receivers with a PC or tablet based on Windows 7 OS and higher, including the ability to remotely change the parameters of the receiver: delay time, initiation sequence, etc. The system is also stable in the temperature range from -40 to +50C.

Today, the Group’s specialists successfully carry out mass blasts at distances of up to 2.5 km between the command and receiving units in difficult conditions.

“Before blasting operations, the system was first tested. In the complete absence of line of sight and the presence of obstacles in the form of natural relief, the quality of the radio signal was excellent. All the open-cast mines where EVOBLAST GC operates have been equipped with the new system. Before the work started at each mine site, the employees had induction sessions and required training in special training classes. The new unit completely meets one of the important principles of the EVOBLAST GK – safety. We continuously increase safety requirements at the sites, improve, replenish and introduce new technologies to minimize all risks for both personnel and the environment,” emphasized Sergey Kovalkov, Technical Director of EVOBLAST Group of Companies.

07 December 2023
EVOBLAST Group of Companies took part in the personnel session of the Supreme Mining Council of Russia

On November 30, specialists of EVOBLAST Group of Companies participated in an extended meeting of the Supreme Mining Council of the Association “NP (non-profit partnership) “Miners of Russia”, where, together with representatives of educational institutions and business, they discussed the staffing tasks of the mining industry of Russia.

Personnel are the basis and one of the advantages of the Group. The high level of responsibility, qualifications and professionalism of the employees of the EVOBLAST Group of Companies ensure the company’s competitiveness and leadership in the drilling and blasting market. To attract and, importantly, retain specialists in conditions of personnel shortage, EVOBLAST GC follows high standards of safety and company culture.

Special attention is paid to occupational health and safety, as the lives and health of employees, customers and contractors are of the highest value to the Group.

The well-being program of EVOBLAST Group employees includes the creation and maintenance of physical and psychological safety, as well as a comfortable working environment. The company has life insurance programs for employees, including accident insurance, voluntary health insurance programs or targeted financial assistance to employees to maintain health and well-being. The motivation system and existing approaches in the field of personnel management are based on the world’s best practices adapted to the local specifics of the labor market.

The management of EVOBLAST GC and the HR team have preserved and multiplied the best methods and approaches in the management and development of employees, combining material and non-material motivations, supporting the interest and desire of the staff to work in the company for decades. So, some employees have been working in the company since its establishment – 30 years. This figure has been achieved, in many respects, thanks to the principle of the open job market, which operates in the company. First of all, all open positions become available to its employees. This allows employees to see career prospects, expand areas of interest, take responsibility and plan professional development within the Group. Company training programs, which are the quintessence of the best Russian and international practices, are preserved and continue to develop. They include specialized courses on safe and effective blasting, advanced training programs, and general management courses for both novice managers and experienced leaders.

On the basis of corporate programs, training programs for customers are also developed. In many respects, this relates to professional courses, such as “Safe and Effective Blasting”. Special emphasis was placed on cooperation with specialized educational institutions. For more than 18 years, EVOBLAST GC has been actively working with a number of universities in the field of practical training of young specialists. The company has a “Young Specialist” program, which gives a unique chance to consolidate in practice the professional knowledge, skills and abilities acquired at the university. The key objective of the program is to form a highly qualified talent pool under the guidance of experienced mentors. The best graduates gain practical skills at the production sites of the EVOBLAST GC, having the opportunity to study all stages of the company’s full cycle from the inside.

“Young specialists undergo internships and gain practical skills in all divisions and departments of the company, starting with survey activities, licensing and permitting work, engineering department, commercial direction, procurement, occupational safety and environmental protection, and, of course, production and services. This gives the opportunity to try yourself in the company not only in your specialty. Such programs allow us to increase the attractiveness of mining professions among young professionals, replenish not only our talent pool, but also develop young talents for the industry as a whole, ensuring the evolution of mining operations. Of course, this is not widespread, but, in my opinion, this practice should be introduced by all market participants, not individual players. Only when the theoretical base is supported by interesting and relevant practice, we will form qualified personnel reserves and gradually fill the personnel shortage,” said Irina Rogova, Director of the Human Resources Department of EVOBLAST GC.

14 November 2023
Evolution cannot be stopped. EVOBLAST Group of Companies has been on the Russian market for 30 years

In October 2023, EVOBLAST Group celebrated its 30th anniversary in the Russian market. The history of the Group is continuous development and expansion, mastering of new technologies, regions, and climatic conditions. Over the years of operation in Russia the company has come a long way: 11 emulsion explosives production plants with a capacity of more than 130 thousand tons per year have been opened, new technologies in the field of drilling and blasting operations (D&B) have been developed and implemented.

Experience and expertise in the field of blasting using electronic initiation systems (EBS) were systematically increased. This technology is now used in most projects to ensure maximum accuracy and safety in blasting. For example, in 2022, EVOBLAST Group set a record by blasting a block with a volume of over 350 thousand m3 at the Gross field in Yakutia. The work was carried out at a temperature of -37 °C.

Today, EVOBLAST Group offers Russian customers a wide range of services, from the proper explosive selection for drilling and blasting operations to comprehensive service support for the project. Products manufactured by EVOBLAST Group of Companies ensure non-stop operation of the largest Russian mining companies.

The development of innovative solutions, continues, including digitalization of drilling and blasting operations. Special attention is paid to both efficiency and safety for humans and the environment.

“This year is special for us for two reasons. We are celebrating the company’s 30th anniversary in Russia. But, in my opinion, what is more important is what allowed us to enter the next decade. First of all, it is the professionalism and team cohesion. We have multiplied our expertise, as well as maintain the quality of products and services. Regardless of external conditions, EVOBLAST Group remains a driver of the mining operations evolution in Russia… With new plans, partnerships, projects!”, said Vyacheslav Grinin, Director for Development and Innovation of EVOBLAST Group.

31 October 2023
ZETLAB Group of Companies and EVOBLAST Group of Companies have developed an instrument for measuring volume seismic waves in the rock mass

A new instrument has appeared in Russia that allows to record the velocity of rock particles displacement in the unbroken part of the rock massif.

As a result of technological cooperation between ZETLAB and EVOBLAST Groups of Companies, an advanced instrument, Inhole Geophone, was developed to measure volume seismic waves in the rock mass.
Measurement data make it possible to correct calculations in the design of drilling and blasting operations and minimize the seismic impact on the massif back-break. This increases the stability of the mine walls and the safety of mining operations.

The assessment process of the seismic impact from blasting in a rock mass includes the analysis of seismic in the near, middle and far zones. The near field is a radius of 5 – 40 m from the sensor to the end hole charges. The difficulty of data collection within this zone lies in the lack of specific equipment on the Russian market that allows to exclude the influence of surface seismic waves, but at the same time withstand the impact and record the peak values of volume seismic waves.

The developed Inhole Geophone includes such parameters as the measurement accuracy, the equipment reliability, its resistance to difficult working conditions in quarries and at the construction sites, as well as ease of use and the ability to transfer data for further analysis.

As one of the key components of seismic measurement equipment, the Inhole Geophone is highly sensitive and has a wide range of frequencies, which makes it possible to ensure accurate measurement and capture of all peak values of rock particle displacement velocities in the data capture area. In addition, it is compact and easy to install into the hole at the blast site.
Another equally important component is the data collection and processing system. The data is collected by a recorder and transferred to a computer for further analysis. The software makes it possible to process and interpret the obtained data, identify trends and assess the mass blast environmental impact.

“The continuous development of modern technologies and industry leads to an increase of the blasting operations volume in mining and construction industries. This has a seismic impact on the infrastructure of enterprises, as well as on rock massif. Thus, seismic monitoring becomes increasingly important to prevent the destruction of foundations, buildings and structures, as well as to reduce the risks of benches and pit walls collapse. Jointly with ZETLAB, we managed to create a completely local and import-independent solution in the field of seismic impact measuring and forecasting,” said Vyacheslav Grinin, Director for Development and Innovation of EVOBLAST Group.

25 October 2023
EVOBLAST Group participated in the 19th Mining Forum MINEX Russia 2023

During the interactive session “New Times – New Heroes: From Exploration to Mining and Processing Complex”, the group specialists presented the company in its updated format and talked about the transformations that have taken place over the past two years, as well as what has remained unchanged. Besides this, the company’s current range of solutions was presented, as well as local R&D capabilities.

The company participated in two thematic blocks: “Production. From geological exploration to mining and processing complex” and “Safety”. During the presentations, we talked about the core values and principles of the EVOBLAST Group of Companies, which have been formed over decades and have become even more significant today. In particular, the group strategic director noted that, despite external factors, such as sanctions, interruptions in the components supply, pressure from competitors, EVOBLAST Group managed to preserve not only its assets, but also the fundamental approaches of ORICA international brand. The range of solutions was preserved without the loss of quality, the local R&D competencies were increased, and cooperation with scientific institutes was strengthened.

This approach is very important, since more than 80% of mineral raw materials are mined using blasting. Blasting operations account for more than 25% of labor costs and 50-60% of costs. The duration of drilling and blasting operations in the cycle is on average 50-60%. And the quality of the extracted mineral raw materials also depends on the quality of D&B operations.

Evoblast Group is a Russian manufacturer with the international brand heritage

“This year, our team’s combined experience and expertise in the field of drilling and blasting turned 30 years old. Of course, in many respects this is the legacy of an international brand, one of the global industry leaders, but today we can rightfully call ourselves a Russian manufacturer. Despite the difficulties, we managed to maintain and multiply competencies, technological capabilities, and most importantly, to retain customers. Thanks to our laboratory specialists in a short time, we restored practically from scratch the manufacturing technologies of the main range of products familiar to our customer. As before, we provide a package of products and services for efficient and cost-effective D&B operations, supply initiation systems, emulsions for underground and open-cut mining, provide geotechnical monitoring services,” said Sergey Moser, Strategic Director of EVOBLAST Group.

Safety is always our priority

For EVOBLAST Group, safety will always be a constant priority, which over the decades has been transformed and integrated into the Group business culture. The occupational health and safety system is constantly being improved, but, as you know, there is always room for that. In the Safety thematic block, Julia Vikhert, Director of the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Department, shared the company’s best practices that can be introduced and used at absolutely any industrial enterprise. Thus, for three quarters of this year, the company prevented and eliminated 52 potentially dangerous incidents.

“Safety has been the core value and principle of our company throughout the 30 years of operation in the Russian market. Our responsibility is to provide working conditions that will eliminate accidents in principle. However, in the process of analyzing potential and actual incidents, we came to the conclusion that in addition to organizing safe working conditions and training workers in safety principles, it is necessary to pay special attention to the personal perception of this aspect by each employee. It was important to create an environment in which the fear of disrupting production plans would not prevail over attention to protective measures and potentially dangerous working conditions. Over the years we have been refining our approaches, and today stopping work for safety reasons is not something “out of scope” for us. In just three quarters of this year, we managed to prevent more than 30 emergency situations thanks to the attentiveness and involvement of our employees. Our entire team, without exception, adheres to the principle that safe working conditions, and therefore human life, are more important than production and financial indicators,” said Yulia Vikhert, Director of Health, Safety and Environmental Protection at Evoblast Group.

17 October 2023
EVOBLAST Group and ANO NOIV signed a Сooperation Agreement

The 23rd annual Research and Applied Conference on Mining and Blasting, organized by the Autonomous Noncommercial Organization “National Organization of Blast Engineers in Support of Professional Development” (ANO “NOIV”), took place in September.

At this forum, EVOBLAST specialists spoke about the results of import substitution, geotechnical monitoring technologies and the prospects for the group development. The companies also signed an Agreement on cooperation in several areas.

Conference objectives

The main objectives of the conference are the discussion of a wide range of issues in the field of mining and blasting operations, exchange of research and technical information, identification of prospective development and introduction of new equipment and technologies, considering the reduction of seismic, dust, gas and environmental impacts in the mining areas, as well as the development of joint research programmes and non-destructive testing techniques.

Similar to the previous years, the conference brought together representatives of Rostekhnadzor (Safety Committee), the largest mining companies, geophysical organizations and state mining safety supervising bodies of the Customs Union for the Eurasian Economic Union. The main market players working with the turnover of explosive materials, as well as well-known researchers of the Russian Academy of Sciences and higher educational institutions.

Evoblast Group: Results of import substitution and development trends

EVOBLAST Group, the successor of Orica in Russia, has been cooperating with ANO NOIV for about twenty years. At the conference, the company experts presented scientific and applied aspects of emulsion explosives development and introduction. The experts spoke about the methods designed by EVOBLAST Group for the emulsifiers testing, the results of the emulsion matrix quality study, the options to improve the quality of the emulsion explosives  using ammonium nitrate and stable industrial emulsifiers. Two more topics presented by Evoblast were related to the velocity of detonation in close emulsion explosive hole charges, and geotechnical monitoring with radar technologies.

ГК "Эвобласт" и АНО НОИВ - соглашение о сотрудничестве

Additionally, within the framework of the conference, EVOBLAST Group and ANO NOIV signed a Cooperation Agreement. The main areas of cooperation include assistance in the promotion and implementation of innovative projects, joint developments, assistance in the development of verifications for amending the current regulatory and legal acts of the Russian Federation in the field of industrial safety.  Both parties will also investigate opportunities to improve technologies, including electronic initiation systems, and cooperate in the development and use of new explosive materials. An important trend of the cooperation will be the support of professional education, retraining and advanced training of specialists in the field of blasting and other technical specialties.

Evoblast Group on cooperation with ANO NOIV

“For us, this research and industrial forum for many years has been one of the key platforms, where we can meet our customers, representatives of supervisory authorities and experts at the same time. At the event, we can quickly get answers to relevant questions, jointly make important decisions for further development of the industry. Cooperation, a scientific approach and safety are the main underlying principles of EVOBLAST’s activities. And these principles are shared by ANO NOIV. The agreement was a natural development of the multiple years of cooperation with the organization. I am sure that this cooperation will become even broader,” said Anton Vasilyevich Kondrashov, Managing Director of EVOBLAST Group.

Геотехнический мониторинг
28 September 2023
Capabilities of Evoblast Group in geotechnical monitoring at Tech Mining Russia

08 September, 2023, Moscow, at the International Conference and Exhibition Tech Mining Russia, EVOBLAST Group presented its capabilities and R&D projects in geotechnical monitoring for underground and open-pit mines, discussed the radar monitoring methods, operation modes and their advantages.

Geotechnical monitoring at minus 55 degrees

Geotechnical monitoring systems have been continuously an integral part of the mining and construction industries and ensured a high level of safety. Rockfalls, collapses and landslides during mining operations are one of the most common and dangerous types of accidents at the mines. The consequences lead to occupational injuries, damage to the fleet of special machinery and equipment.

Modern monitoring technologies minimize all major types of risks and enable a proactive behaviour. Thus, Evoblast’s interferometric radars facilitate predictions of the potential risks of rock collapse and landslides with the precision of a minute. The equipment can operate in any conditions: high dust content, fog and, what is especially important in certain regions of Russia, at extremely low temperatures, namely down to -55 degrees Celsius.

Totally, over 1000 devices like this are operating in the world. More than 30 radars are installed in Russia. Supported by Evoblast, 14 of the radars conduct round-the-clock monitoring at various quarries and dams in the Magadan Region, Yakutia, the Khabarovsk Territory, and Kuzbass.

Interferometric radar to launch soon

“The evolution of mining operations towards safety, sustainability, without losing efficiency and cost-effectiveness designate the brand identity of Evoblast. We base the development of our own solutions on many years of experience, expertise, and all available technological capabilities. The new interferometric radar is one of the products that we plan to launch in the future. We are confident that Russian mining companies will appreciate the advantages,” said Erick Kanaev, Director of the Geotechnical Monitoring Department at Evoblast.

Tech Mining Russia is a conference combined with an exhibition that brings together specialists from mining companies, the scientific community and business in exploration, mining, transportation, mineral processing, and design of technical, engineering and software services in the mineral resource management. The event marked its 5th anniversary.

25 September 2023
Science and business synergy: EVOBLAST Group and IPKON RAN signed a strategic partnership agreement

EVOBLAST Group, one of the leaders in developing solutions for drilling and blasting operations in Russia, and IPKON RAN (Melnikov Institute for Comprehensive Exploitation of Mineral Resources of the Russian Academy of Sciences) have signed a partnership agreement on cooperation to develop joint innovative projects to expand the bilateral cooperation.

Cooperation between science and industry

Late August, the official signing ceremony took place and marked the commencement of the joint projects in R&D and innovations.

These projects will contribute to the development of cooperation between the scientific and industrial sectors intended to solve pressing issues in mining and design innovative solutions.

The parties also see potential for mutually beneficial cooperation in the following priority areas: assessment of the blast impact on the rock properties, forecasting and management of blasting related factors, including emissions of pollutants into the air, seismic impact on the environment, etc.

Application of geotechnical monitoring systems was in the spotlight as the key to safer mining. Both parties expressed confidence in the successful development of the partnership and planned to start working together on priority projects in the near future.

Synergy of science and business

As Anton Vasilyevich Kondrashov, Chief Executive Officer of EVOBLAST Group, noted: “With the exit of the foreign technologies from the Russian market, we focused on our own R&D. A number of solutions can be adjusted, but there are also things that have to be created from scratch.

In our activities, we pursue two important aspects – technology and relevance. It is impossible to maintain this approach without cooperation with strong, competent partners. The signed agreement with IPKON RAN will enable us to act consistently, offering relevant solutions to the industry. We have identified priorities in our work that are in line with the values and strategic plans of our company, and we see already many benefits of this cooperation.”

“The synergy of science and business is not new, but it is not always possible to come to a mutual agreement. In this case, we have succeeded and our cooperation with Evoblast Group poses a unique opportunity to combine efforts and scientific resources to offer solutions to Russian mining companies. The agreement covers a wide range of issues from technological aspects to safety and environmental protection. We also have plans to offer training of highly qualified personnel, which almost every industry needs today, “said Valery Nikolaevich Zakharov, Director of the IPKON RAN Institute, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences.

About “EVOBLAST” Group of Companies (GC)

Evoblast GC is a manufacturer of advanced commercial explosives, initiation systems and engineering solutions for drilling and blasting (D&B) for the mining and construction industries. It has been operating in the Russian market since 1993. A local successor of ORICA, Evoblast applies the best international practices and standards in designing and maintaining the D&B operations.

The group specializes in providing premium quality solutions: cutting-edge emulsion explosives for open-pit and underground mining, geotechnical monitoring solutions, engineering solutions in the field of electronic initiation systems for reliable and efficient blasting.

EVOBLAST GC implements projects in 14 regions – from the Kola Peninsula to Chukotka. The company employs more than 500 specialists.

A professional team, technological solutions and high standards underlie the group sustainable development. The group develops its solutions caring about both efficiency and environment. EVOBLAST Group invests in the future generation cooperating with educational institutions in Russia.

Семинар  «Практическая геомеханика открытых и подземных горных работ». Геомеханика для оптимальных буровзрывных работ.
14 September 2023
Geomechanics for optimal drilling and blasting

In August 2023, a seminar on “Applied Geomechanics for Open-pit and Underground Mining” took place in Moscow. Technical specialists and heads of subdivisions attended the event. The purpose of the training was to share knowledge on applied geomechanics. This understanding helps to improve the quality of drilling and blasting operations (D&B) in hard rocks.

Geomechanics for optimal drilling and blasting

Mikhail Dolganov, an engineer for technical support and project implementation, explained the importance of geomechanics for drilling and blasting. “When the benches are mined in descending order and the quarry is deepening, we may often encounter harder rocks than those that were at the start of the deposit mining.

Safe and cost-effective drilling and blasting require a better knowledge of the rock structure. By understanding the geomechanical properties, D&B engineers can efficiently design holes spacing, calculate optimal charges and delay time. This minimizes the impact on the back-break.

The stability of the quarry walls, underground mine roof and walls are of primary importance at the designing stage. They impact the operations safety, “says Mikhail.

Seminar programme

The programme of the seminar included the following topics:
• geotechnical risks;
• methods for assessing slope stability;
• geomechanics of open-pit and underground mining;
• geotechnical monitoring;
• impact of blasting operations on the stability of mine workings.

The programme also covered assessment of the stope and pillars stability based on empirical and numerical methods, mine workings ground support, etc.
The two-day training was conducted by Vadim Lushnikov, geomechanics expert from LVI Geotechnical company. LVI Geotechnical’s has many years in consulting and training at mining companies in Russia and abroad.

Evoblast Group – from the Murmansk region to Chukotka

Evoblast Group – from the Murmansk region to Chukotka. Seminar “Applied Geomechanics for Open-pit and Underground Mining”. Geomechanics for optimal drilling and blasting.

Evoblast Group employs over 500 people. The company operates in 14 Russian regions. No surprise, the training participants arrived from all over the country – from the Murmansk region to Chukotka.

One of Evoblast’s values is enhancement of the employees’ expertise. In this regard, training becomes the tool to achieve success and develop talents.

Such seminars build up the level of knowledge of the D&B engineers and geotechnical monitoring experts. Moreover, such events help establish an internal competency benchmark in Evoblast Group.

05 September 2023
The market of Drilling & Blasting. A long journey in two years

Anton Kondrashov, the CEO of Evoblast Group, has given an overview of the drill and blast market, the challenges the industry is facing, and the advantages of the electronic initiation systems.

Drill and blast market

“For the global drill and blast (D&B) market, the first challenge emerged with the shortage of Surlyn, the main material to produce initiation systems. This happened in 2021.

That was the time when we were among the first ones on the Russian market, and started developing the new company capability – electronic initiation systems to minimize our dependence on separate components.

D&B with electronic initiation systems

Over these two years, we have made quite a journey: we have incrementally enhanced our experience and expertise in drilling and blasting (D&B) using electronic initiation systems (EBS). We were developing this capability and, together with the local customers, we introduced it into the production process.

In 2022, we set a record – we blasted over 350 thousand cubic meters of rock at the Gross deposit in Yakutia. The project was outstanding as the work was carried out at very low temperatures, down to minus 37 °C. Despite the challenging climate conditions in the region, the mass blast completed without failures.

Advantages of the Electronic Blasting Systems (EBS)

The advantages of electronic detonators compared to the traditional non-electrical systems include a high accuracy of blast initiation, reduced flyrock and lower specific charge, as well as a controlled seismic impact.

At the end of the day, the main feature of the electronic systems is the safety of drilling and blasting. In the next five years, this trend will only boost,” emphasized Anton Kondrashov.

You can find the full industry overview here.