The DigiEcoQuarry team has just completed the first blast of our second campaign using Maxam’s RIOFLEX explosive in the Northwest pit at Cemex’s Valdilecha quarry near Madrid, Spain. This operation marks a key milestone in our DigiEcoQuarry project, a Horizon 2020 project led byANEFA and funded by the European Commission, that aims to design, develop, and validate an Innovative Quarrying System in five pilot sites all over Europe.

The teams involved directly in testing advanced modeling tools and innovative blasting products are Maxam (a global company specializing in the design, development, manufacture, and application of energetic materials); UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid –  Technical University of Madrid), and Cemex Spain.

The goal is to optimize blasting by adapting explosive energy to the specific characteristics of the rock identified through Measurement While Drilling (MWD), using a new in-house machine learning model. This digital approach will allow us to fine-tune explosive density based on hardness/lithology and geotechnical conditions, improving fragmentation and downstream processes while maintaining safety standards.

The innovative RIOFLEX explosive, combined with a sophisticated loading system, automatically adjusts density at the hose’s end, enabling precise product loaded at final density. Additionally, instant crosslinking of the product prevents migration through cracks.

More tests are planned for May and June to refine the designs based on real-time rock data. Thanks to our partners at CEMEX, MAXAM, SANDVIK, and UPM-M for driving this innovation! Stay tuned for updates!