“For approximately four years, Cargill Incorporated’s Cayuga Mine in Lansing, NY has desired to make the change from receiving ANFO in 50lb. paper bags to receiving it in 1 ton bulk bags. The drive behind this change was to eliminate the safety concern of operators handling a combined 250 + bags every day (24 hrs). Handling these bags to fill the tanks for explosives trucks’ pneumatic systems was long deemed a back injury waiting to happen and we wanted to partner with IEX to convert our systems to a bulk ANFO process. There were many questions and a few roadblocks along the journey that, without the persistence of David Whiteside, could easily have led all parties to abandon the project. Learning of and continuing the efforts of his predecessor, Dave was relentless in his pursuit to see that somehow our desire to have a bulk ANFO system would be realized. He worked his way through material issues such as DOT approval for necessary plastic totes to confine the filled bulk bags within the footprint of the pallets; acquisition of the bulk bags themselves (which in itself was difficult given the vendor being overseas); and printing of the IEX logo and other essential information on the bags. Dave also helped through several meetings to ensure that delivery and handling of the bags from the truck to our underground powder magazine would result in a seamless process. Dave should be commended for his perseverance to see this project through to completion.
“In a recent visit to our mine to trial run 2 bulk bags of ANFO through the above delivery process as well as to empty the bags into our haulage wagon and distribute to the explosives trucks, Mark LaVere accompanied Dave to see the results of the trial first-hand. Throughout my discussions with Mark during this visit, it was readily obvious that he had put forth much thought and effort to ensure that our needs would be fully met. Many vendors in businesses may be apt to first address their own concerns of how they could most easily handle the product in their own facility. It was obvious that Mark and his crew were primarily interested in satisfying our needs of handling the pallets/totes/bags from delivery to magazine; the ease of opening the bags for dispersal to our wagon; and how to secure the inner liner so as not to fall into our wagon, yet be easily removed from the reusable bulk bag. While observing our process, Mark also offered good suggestions for how we may choose to handle empty bags and totes for return to Adams Center and also was obviously considering how he may adjust his own processes to better accommodate our needs. It is commendable that Mark’s efforts to put our needs before his own concerns contributed greatly to the success of this trial and will allow us to quickly move forward.
“It is certainly due to the perseverance and forward thinking by Dave and Mark that we are finally ready to accept our first bulk ANFO delivery on April 17 and to do so with confidence that our system will be readily adaptable to this change.”