Explosive magazines

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For obvious reasons, explosive storage is one of the most heavily regulated aspects of any mining operation. The Ontario and BC regulations state that powder and cap magazines should be located in safe areas, at least 60 m away from a shaft, hoist room, main access ramp, refuge station, transformer vault, or fuel storage/transfer area. Magazines should also be designed and maintained with a high level of security and up-to-date inventory management control. Appropriate signage must be present in order to ensure ignition sources are kept a safe distance away. Separate magazines are required for explosives and detonator systems, located at least 8 m apart, in order to drastically reduce the change of accidental detonation. An underground mine must obtain an ‘Explosives Storage and Use’ permit prior to any blasting activities. Furthermore, magazines must be maintained to meet the standards outlined in the ‘Explosives Act’ (Canada). All electrical equipment and wiring must abide to the CSA Standard M421-00 and NRCan’s Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives. Finally, flammable materials must be kept an adequate distance away as specified by NRCan’s standards. (Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources - Mining and Minerals Division, 2008) (Bullock, 2011)

Figure 1 below, shows a typical layout of an explosive magazine. Note the appropriate signage is included on the drawing as per regulation.

Figure 1, Powder magazine (Morin, 2015


Bullock, R. L. (2011). Subsurface Mine Development. In P. Darling, SME Mining Engineering Handbook (pp. 1203-1221). Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME).

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources - Mining and Minerals Division. (2008). Health, Safety and Reclamation Code for Mines in British Columbia. Victoria: Province of British Columbia.

Morin, M. (2015). Personal Files.