From modest beginnings as a small niche player in the Hunter Valley, we have grown to become one of the largest blasting contractors in the Australian mining industry.
At the turn of the Millennium, Roche Mining purchased CBS – a small blasting contractor with five projects and an emulsion-manufacturing facility in the Hunter Valley – and rechristened the business Roche Blasting Services.
In 2002, we entered into a joint venture with South African explosives company, Sasol, and changed our name to Sasol Roche Blasting Services.
It was also in this year that we broke into the Queensland market for the first time, winning a contract at Goonyella Riverside Mine which we completed in 2018 - 16 years later.
Our New South Wales and Queensland operations continued to expand over the next couple of years, so in 2004, we built an emulsion-manufacturing facility in Bajool to service our Queensland operations.
Readying for expansion
In 2007 we expanded our geographical presence and started working in the iron ore sector, with two new contracts in Western Australia. To supply these operations and support our continued growth in this region, we built an emulsion-manufacturing facility at Collie.
It was also in this year that our parent company, Roche Mining, rebranded to Downer Mining, and we subsequently changed our name to Downer EDI Mining – Blasting Services.
In 2008, our fourth emulsion-manufacturing facility was built to service our new project at Savage River Mine in Tasmania.
2009 was the beginning of significant growth for our business. New contracts were won or renewed with BMA Coal, Rio Tinto and Yancoal Australia.
In 2010, we were awarded a new contract at Christmas Creek Mine and revenue reached $150 million. By 2012, we had won more new contracts, including a $90 million contract with Jellinbah Group and our turnover exceeded $300 million.
To provide our customers with supply chain security, we entered into Ammonium Nitrate (AN) supply agreements with domestic and international suppliers.
Exploring New Opportunities
In 2013, we were awarded over $230 million in contract extensions with long-term clients, Yancoal Australia, Sojitz and Saracen.
By now people had started to abbreviate our name to Downer Blasting Services – or DBS – so we changed our brand to reflect this.
Our new logo represents us as a moving force – a business that has gone from working at a handful of mines in 2000 to being one of Australia’s largest and most respected blasting contractors today.
It is at this time that we took on a new business venture – underground blasting. Through partnerships with Forcit Explosives and Normet, we now offer underground blasting services using leading-edge technology.