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Maxam MSU trucks deliver RIOFLEX bulk watergel to an extractive site. The high energy bulk explosive will now be manufactured at Maxam’s new premises at the WA Government’s McLarty State Explosives Facility, 120km south of Perth.
Maxam MSU trucks deliver RIOFLEX bulk watergel to an extractive site. The high energy bulk explosive will now be manufactured at Maxam’s new premises at the WA Government’s McLarty State Explosives Facility, 120km south of Perth.

Private operators subscribe to new WA explosives facility

Blasting solutions provider Maxam Australia has opened two manufacturing sites at the Western Australian Government’s new McLarty State Explosives Facility, 120km south of Perth.

The company was the first manufacturer to begin operating at the facility that consists of 36 explosives storage and manufacturing sites, managed by the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).

Based near the town of Myalup, the McLarty Reserve site has been constructed to replace the former Baldivis Explosives Reserve, originally located 50km south of Perth. Baldivis will be decommissioned and repurposed into a residential development to accommodate for the region’s expanding population.

According to the DMIRS, 21 McLarty sites had been leased to private operators since its official opening in April, including one managed by the department itself. Another 13 have had strong commitments for development. Two remain unallocated but they have received expressions of interest.

The government considers state explosives facilities as important infrastructure for the state’s extractive sector, providing highly secure areas and suitable locations for the storage and manufacture of packaged explosives.

Michael Briggs, Maxam
Michael Briggs, Maxam
“By moving to a new site, it’s allowed us to update the technology and the way we do the manufacturing”
Michael Briggs, Maxam Australia general manager

Maxam spent $7 million relocating from Baldivis to the McLarty Reserve where it is renting 23,600m² of DMIRS land, including a 10,000m² plot to produce components for its high energy bulk explosive Rioflex, and 6,000m² to manufacture its Rionel non-electric detonators.

The company is also leasing a 4,000m² ammonium nitrate storage site, as well as magazine sites covering 3,600m². It spent 13 months building the two main factories, and commenced operation at the site in February.

“By moving to a new site, it’s allowed us to update the technology and the way we do the manufacturing,” Maxam Australia’s general manager Michael Briggs told Quarry. “It’s given us more room to increase the capacity of the plant and storages, and it’s also closer to our customer base.

“When we were looking at removal from Baldivis, we wanted to continue our commitment to Western Australia with it being so heavily resources-dependent, so that’s why we decided to go into this facility.

“The government infrastructure and transportation network is very good in that part of the country for us.”

The WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston said the overall uptake of sites had surpassed initial expectations with a strong mix of local, interstate and international companies.

“All available sites are expected to be occupied by the end of 2019 and there is already potential to expand the reserve to the south,” he said.

“With about $113 billion of resource projects in the pipeline, the McGowan Government is committed to supporting growth of the resources sector and explosives storage facilities play a vital role in the industry.”

 

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More reading:
High energy flexible explosive
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Industry body promotes improved safety, security of explosives
To the power of six: Promoting a team-oriented approach to drilling, blasting
 











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