MSHA announces recall of blasting device

May 13, 2010

At the request of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, Watkins, CO-based Orica Mining Services has recalled Uni tronic 500 electronic detonators coded before Nov. 15, 2009.

Six unplanned detonations involving the system have occurred, according to an MSHA hazard alert (.pdf file) issued last week. In each case, one of the blast holes unexpectedly detonated while the detonator was being programmed or when an abort command was issued. No injuries or property damage have been reported, the agency said.

Investigators determined the detonations were likely caused by faulty or damaged internal electronic devices. Orica maintains that its product is safe.

MSHA also recently published procedure instruction letters on using belt air in underground coal mines to measure methane levels and ventilate working sections.