The site of a proposed ammonium nitrate emulsion plant on the outskirts of Moranbah.
The site of a proposed ammonium nitrate emulsion plant on the outskirts of Moranbah. Isaac Regional Council

REVEALED: Explosive new development in Isaac

EXCLUSIVE: A PRECURSOR for mine explosives could soon be manufactured in Moranbah.

Isaac Regional Council has approved a development application for Platinum Blasting Services to manufacture Ammonium Nitrate Emulsion from a site south of Moranbah.

The Brisbane-based blasting solutions company services the Australian mining industry and has been trying to expand into the Bowen Basin to streamline its services.

The development, slated for a 404 hectare site off Railway Station Rd, is about 4km from the Moranbah township.

Mayor Anne Baker said it was a crucial component of the resource and supply chain and played a major role in supporting the region's resources sector.

"It is a welcome investment in our community, complementing and adding value to a range of local-based industry support services," she said.

Cr Baker said the rigorous assessment of the application included a third-party review by an independent expert.

Platinum Blasting Services told Isaac Regional Council that ANE was a precursor for explosives that was "blended, stored, handled and transported on roads as a low risk substance".

"Its physical properties can be altered chemically at the point of use, such as the blast hole at a mine site, where it becomes sensitised to become a class one explosive."

 

The site of an ammonium nitrate emulsion plant in Moranbah.
The site of a proposed ammonium nitrate emulsion plant on the outskirts of Moranbah. Isaac Regional Council

Cr Simon West said in Tuesday's council meeting he was nervous about how close the plant was to Moranbah, but added he trusted in the council's process to approve the development.

A council planning report stated the proposed development would not unreasonably adversely impact the health and safety of people in the area.

It also identified that 15 occupants on nearby sites would not be adversely affected by any potential explosion risk.

The report found the development would play an important economic role in the Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region.

The MIW region's plan supports industrial activities in the Moranbah area that would support mining activity in the Bowen Basin.

It is anticipated the facility will produce between 800 and 1000 tonnes of ANE per month, supported by two to four staff on site per shift.

The ammonium nitrate fertiliser required as the first step for the ANE process will be transported to the site from the Bajool explosives reserve, 35km south of Rockhampton. It will then be processed into ANE and taken directly to mine sites.

Platinum Blasting Services chose not to comment.