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Orica launch new lead-free Exel Neo detonators

Exel Neo – the world’s first lead-free non-electric detonator range
Exel Neo – the world’s first lead-free non-electric detonator range

World’s first lead-free non-electric detonator range now available on the market in Europe

ORICA, sole manufacturers of non-electric detonators in the Nordics, have upgraded their premium Exel product range to a safer and more sustainable product by removing the lead while maintaining the same consistent and reliable product performance.

Neo is Orica’s new brand for environmentally friendly, sustainable initiation system products. The Neo range of Exel non-electric detonators is produced in Gyttorp, Sweden, using a lead-free formulation with no lead or lead compounds utilized in the manufacturing of the pyrotechnic delay compositions.


The Exel non-electric blasting technology range is based on the Non Primary Explosives Detonator (NPED) technology, successfully used by Orica for the last 30 years. As with the original Exel range, the newly launched Exel Neo range is designed for use in civil infrastructure as well as surface and underground operations.

Orica’s chief technology officer, Angus Melbourne, said: ‘Orica’s strategy is to deliver solutions and technology that drive productivity for our customers across the globe. With nearly 150 years of innovation and expertise, we continue to solve the industry’s challenges and are proud to offer a lead-free solution today, while maintaining the same trusted performance, storage, and handling benefits. With our Neo range, we are offering a product that is free of Substances of Very High Concern.’

Before being placed on the market in Europe, the Neo product range was successfully assessed and approved by the Explosive Notified Body as part of CE-marking certification in the European Union. The new fully lead-free products do not contain any Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) according to the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation.

Among the key benefits of Exel Neo, the new product range is manufactured close to Orica’s customer base in Europe and includes distinct safety and environmental benefits, with lead or lead compound removed from the production process and thus eliminated from release into environment.

‘After many years of good co-operation between RISE and Orica, I can only congratulate you on the launch of your new product,’ said Johan Arnell, engineer from the Department of Electrification and Reliability at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

Celebrating this milestone, Orica group executive and EMEA president James Bonnor added: ‘Orica are taking decisive steps to enable our industry’s transition towards a more sustainable future. We have invested in the state-of-the-art equipment in Sweden, including assembly machines and control systems, to ensure the high quality of our products. The Exel Neo range is based on our NPED technology that’s been in the European market for 30 years.

‘With the Neo addition, we have successfully developed, independently tested, and trialled a lead-free alternative that can burn with the same accuracy as our current lead-based delay compositions. Importantly for our customers, independent external tests on timing accuracy and scatter patterns confirm that this new technology performs with the same reliability.’ 


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