Quarrying – Dimensional Stone

Use of blackpowder and other similar materials in the dimensional stone and granite industries is still one of the most widely used methods for blasting rock. GasBlaster allows work to be undertaken without the need for explosives licenses or complicated and less administratively heavy “Track and Trace”. The GasBlaster Range also negates the need for expensive and significant storage facilities at each site. it’s a real win for your business.

In addition:

  • Over-break and generation of micro-cracks can be avoided as the products are not fully coupled to the drill-hole

  • Discolouration of the stone can be minimised, whilst achieving straight cuts through the stone

  • Some measure of protection from moisture ingress into the ‘explosives’ medium is obtained thus avoiding poor results from under-performing materials such as blackpowder. Gasblaster is also water resistant for a minimum of 1.5 hours.

  • Use of a ‘self stemming’ product removes the need to carry around stemming material to remote areas

  • Our wide range of cartridges makes the use in the field simpler from a mass requirement or blasting ratio calculation standpoint

Far quicker harvesting of the quarry than the use of just pecking, plug and feather or wedges.

Quarrying – Aggregate

Typical aggregate production can be a high volume but low value operation, however despite that the use of propellant based cartridges, can often still provide significant savings, potentially depending on method, a minimum of 20% plus a far better yield per day, allowing quicker harvesting of the quarry and quicker revenue into your business. 

On top of that GasBlaster provides a number of other benefits and usage opportunities:

  • Improved Health and Safety  - Better vibration and noise control in residential areas and where schools, hospitals and other public services are offered

  • Usage in regions where the authorities have simply forbidden the use of explosives normally due to reasons of safety, security, strict environmental constraints or because of lack of reasonable access. 

  • Less impact and disturbance to the working of the quarry whilst blasting take place due to less fly-rock, dust and other Health and Safety restrictions associated with say High Explosives. 

  • Low Explosive GasBlaster also allows other day-to-day activities to continue close by whilst blasting takes place, improving efficiency and labour/machine utilisation within the quarry.


Underground Mining and Tunnelling

Underground mining methods vary greatly in scale and technique. However, all of them could benefit from improvements in wall control and prevention of over-break. This will reduce the quantity of waste rock that has to be excavated and moved and the amount of ground that has to be made safe and supported. This can be achieved by using a number of products from the GasBlaster Range.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduction in the amounts of fine particles produced and the loss of, for instance, gold, silver and platinum in the dust portion blown into mine back areas and washed into cracks in the footwall.

  • Allowing mining in some areas where fume limitation is paramount.

  • Reduction in the need for employees to have to stem before blasting.

  • The introduction of selective and continuous mining techniques and thus improving mine productivity and profitability.

  • A reduction in vibration and airblast at or near sensitive equipment and mine pillars, for example, i.e. at sites where valuable ground might be sterilised.

  • Storage underground close to the blast area with no need for ‘track and trace’ and expensive facilities and control.


Specifically when tunnelling the above can apply however there are other benefits:

  • Helping to prevent damage to previously excavated concrete lined adjacent tunnels and excavations, i.e. twin tunnelling and Crossrail-type operations where precision is demanded.

  • Tunnel widening where services and equipment are already in position.

  • Close proximity urban blasting, especially beneath antiquities and very sensitive surface structures – computer centres, hospitals, etc.

  • Areas where short holes and very delicate work is required to be carried out underground in urban areas: car parks, oligarch underground swimming pools, wine cellars and so on.

  • Work where permission for explosives cannot be obtained and ‘blasting’ is required around the clock with no possibility for vacating personnel.

  • Breaking of oversize rocks that are impinging on the productivity of continuous boring machines and other mechanical tunnelling methods.

Surface Mining

While coal over-burden ‘casting’ and iron ore and copper open-pit mine production blasting, amongst others, all require use of large amounts of low density and relatively inexpensive ANFO explosives, Gasblaster can still play a significant role in making your mine more efficient.


There a number of areas where low explosive precision blasting can help:

  • Low bench (short fitch) controlled blasting, perimeter control and dilution minimisation

  • Control of highwall integrity – the prevention of micro-cracks

  • Reduction of over-fragmentation in high value ore blasting

  • Blasting in areas where vibration, noise and air-blast control are paramount, i.e. for work in environmentally sensitive areas

  • Managing coal fines and preventing shattering of precious stones

  • Under specific circumstances improving fume characteristics

  • Limited scale rock excavation in specific local areas of the bulk operation which will prevent interruption of other processes


Demolition, Marine and Crane Base Removal

Under specific circumstances, these jobs offer opportunities for use of propellant based blasting as provided by GasBlaster.

There are many instances where GasBlaster can bring significant efficiency and cost improvements:

  • When the use of explosives is simply too onerous from an approval standpoint.

  • When the use of explosives provides too much risk because of the possibility of generating high vibration and noise levels or is outlawed for safety and security reasons. 

  • When damp or wet conditions prevent firing due to the use of blackpowder or other high explosive products.

  • With careful design in the placement of the cartridges, control in use and usually with the introduction of delays and good stemming, propellant materials can offer significant advantages to traditional methods.


Replacement For Peckers and Expanding Mortar Materials

There are times when a contractor opts for the use of hydraulic hammers or peckers to remove or demolish rock, buildings or for civil engineering applications. When the work becomes too tough traditional thought can be to use explosives. 
Introducing GasBlaster retains all the safety, security, non-regulatory and ease of use advantages of these non-explosive techniques while offering other production, cost and environmental benefits. For instance expanding mortar requires 2-4 times the number of holes and is time-consuming; peckers are noisy, slow and require space to manoeuvre while both cannot deal easily and efficiently with tough material.