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Orica and Fertiberia mark historic milestone with low-carbon ammonium nitrate blast

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Orica and Fertiberia have achieved a significant milestone by successfully conducting the first blast using low-carbon Technical Ammonium Nitrate (TAN) at the Canteras de Santullán quarry in Spain. This accomplishment follows their joint announcement in September 2023 to collaborate on providing sustainable blasting solutions with low-carbon TAN.

In this groundbreaking event at Canteras de Santullán, Orica utilized ammonium nitrate supplied by Fertiberia, which was produced using renewable hydrogen, resulting in a low-carbon explosive product. This marks the first industrial-scale use of this innovative and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional explosives.

Gonzalo Fernández Ozalla, Fertiberia’s Director for Industrial Development and Projects, emphasized the importance of this development in the context of mining’s role in the energy transition. He stated, “The decarbonization of mining, pivotal for extracting essential industrial minerals like copper, begins with the adoption of more sustainable practices. This blast represents a significant step towards reducing the carbon footprint of mining activities.”

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Low-carbon TAN holds transformative potential for the mining industry, offering a sustainable alternative to traditional TAN that aligns with environmental goals.

Pedro de Andrés Sáez, General Manager of Canteras de Santullán, expressed pride in being selected for this pioneering moment in Spain and Europe. He highlighted the use of ammonium nitrate with a reduced carbon footprint as a testament to their commitment to sustainability, environmental stewardship, and community relations.

Jesus Domingo, Orica’s Lead Commercial for Southern Europe, underscored the importance of mining safely, efficiently, and sustainably amid global transitions. He emphasized, “The collaboration between Orica, Fertiberia, and Canteras de Santullán to implement low-carbon ammonium nitrate marks a significant advancement in the explosives industry and for mining at large.”

This partnership between Orica and Fertiberia signifies a stride towards more sustainable mining practices, leveraging innovative solutions to minimize environmental impact while supporting industrial operations effectively.

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