Gel On Earth: The Advantages Of Choosing Watergel Explosives For Your Mining Operations

6 February 2018
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


For the most part, the days when valuable ores and minerals were ripped from the earth by a strong man and a pickax are dead and gone, and most mining operations now make at least limited use of explosives to make their mines more productive and efficient. However, for explosive mining to be worth the effort, you can't just toss a stick of dynamite down the shaft and hope for the best, and some varieties of explosive are far more suited to mining tasks than others.

One of the most popular types of explosives used in the mining sector is watergel explosives. These explosives consist of various explosive and oxidising compounds suspended in an aqueous 'slurry', which is then packed into cartridges or casings.Their popularity is well earned, and these unique explosives have a number of useful advantages over dynamite and other traditional, packaged explosive options.

Safe to transport

One of the most advantageous properties of water gel explosives is that they can be manufactured on-site by transporting the individual components of the slurry to your mine separately. Most of these components are largely inert when not combined with suitable oxidisers, making them very safe to transport. This approach can also save you significant amounts on transportation costs, since you do not require day boxes and other reinforced transport containers to carry the individual, inert materials to your site.

Versatile sizing options

Making a watergel explosive ready for use is a disarmingly simple matter; once the slurry has been combined and is ready for use, it can simply be poured into a cartridge or casing. Depending on the size of the casings you use, you can make small explosives suitable for clearing blockages, or massive explosive cartridges suitable for blowing open entirely new mine and pit faces. 

Minimal toxicity

Although you shouldn't go bathing in them any time soon, most watergel explosives are considerably less toxic and hazardous to health than dynamite and other conventional, solid explosives, and your employees can mix, load and transport them using modest protective equipment and clothing. Exploded watergel ordinance also tends to produce significantly less noxious gases (such as carbon monoxide) than conventional explosives, making them especially useful for deep mining operations where ventilation can be limited.


Despite all of these advantages over other explosive types, watergel explosives are generally very reasonably priced due to their popularity and ubiquity. They are a particularly economical option when purchased in bulk, and purchasing the seperate components to create the slurry yourself on-site can save your operation even more cash.

For additional information, contact an explosive supplier, such as Rock On Ground.