CDP Explosives


Matted blasting test with CDP in water-filled limestone

About CDP Explosives

CDP is a safe explosive that uses non-toxic ingredients, cannot contaminate groundwater, produces non-toxic solids, does not produce NOx fumes, generates low ground vibrations and has a carbon footprint 4.4 times lower than ANFO.

CDP explosives are combinations of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide), and powdered metals.  The formulations are easy to prepare, totally non-toxic, safer than any traditional explosive, and they are detonator-sensitive, nitrogen-free, and detonate with a force similar to ANFO, with more energy.

To blast with CDP, clients can purchase a  CDP Blaster System, which uses powdered metal and a tank of compressed CO2 to make dry ice.  Detonation byproducts are non-toxic and a combination of carbon and oxides of the metals used in the formulation.

CDP mixtures are powdered, very cold, they pack easily and can be customized to produce a wide range of blasting effects by varying the amount and type of metal in the mixture.

Please contact EnviroDiamond to order your CDP Blaster System, powdered metal and carbon dioxide.

Features of CDP Explosives

Feature #1 – Environmentally Superior: The ingredients of CDP explosives are non-toxic and do not accumulate in workers from repeated exposure.  When used, CDP’s low gas yield and non-toxic solid byproducts enables this novel explosive to decrease the impact of blasting by significantly reducing air and water pollution.

By comparison, all conventional explosives consist of toxic ingredients that can contaminate groundwater and present serious potential health risks (including cancer) in their manufacture, handling, and use.  Furthermore, traditional mining explosives produce toxic NOx gas, and high levels of carbon dioxide, which contributes 4% to 7% of the global greenhouse gases that are alleged to be responsible for global climate change.

Feature #2 – Simplified Operations and Liability: Using CDP can eliminate a mine’s need for explosives magazines except for one, for detonators only.  A bulk tank of carbon dioxide and hoppers of powdered metal can be stored indefinitely and with minimal operational risk, without a need for a magazine.

Feature #3 – Enhanced Safety: CDP is completely safe to prepare, handle and use.  Substantial testing has shown that CDP formulation is safe against accidental detonation or fire induced by electric discharge, open flame, sparks, exposure to water, significant impact and extreme compaction.

By comparison, traditional explosives are a constant liability and at risk from fire, sparks, impact, overheating, improper storage and theft.  Completely eliminating all traditional explosives from inventory eliminates those risks and would therefore increase operational safety, improve workers’ health and safety and decrease the frequency of possible accidents.

Feature #4 – Customizable: CDP explosives are detonatable across a range of metal concentrations, and each exhibits a unique VOD, energy and yield of gas and solids.  This permits customers to adjust the formula to prepare shots that deliver the specific combination of energy, solids and gas necessary for the current blasting objective.

One such objective is for blasting rock containing veins of high-grade ore.  Rather than obliterate the rock with energetically inefficient high-velocity traditional explosives, the customer can use CDP.  CDP can be customized, on site and with perfect ease, to deliver the ideal blend of explosive forces, solids and gas to produce rocks of a size that can potentially reduce mineral processing costs.

Mineral processing costs are reduced by creating rocks of a size that are statistically more likely to contain the highest purity of the high-grade ore in question.   Through simple techniques, chunks of high-grade ore can be concentrated and subjected to a more efficient mineral extraction process due to less waste per ton of ore.

Feature #5 – Variable Sleep Time: The power of CDP slowly wanes over time as the dry ice portion sublimates.  This built-in safety feature means CDP explosives can be quarantined, in the case of a misfire or bootleg for example, until the dry ice is gone and then the metal can be recovered (8 – 24 hours).

This feature also requires the customer to plan their shots with as low a delay as possible between loading holes and shooting them (sleep time < 1 hour ideally; promptly is best).   Longer sleep times are possible under the right insulation strategy and depending on the borehole size.  The acceptable sleep time increases exponentially with an increase in borehole diameter.

Feature #6 – Reasonably Priced: CDP is priced on par with, or is more affordable than, many packaged products and is most affordable under a bulk production strategy.  The price of bulk CDP is similar to bulk ANFO and, since CDP does not use ammonium nitrate (a common mining explosive ingredient), the price of CDP is expected to remain consistent.  By comparison, certain global events have caused the price of ammonium nitrate to skyrocket since 2021 to record levels that exceed the traditional price of the finished product.

Classification of CDP as an Explosive

CDP has not been classified as an explosive by Canada’s Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD), according to their ruling that a manufacturing certificate is not required when combining the ingredients necessary to produce CDP.  Furthermore, in their subsequent communication with EnviroDiamond, ERD clearly states “CDP is not an explosive [in Canada].”

ERD’s position on CDP has been reasoned to be based on CDP having a short window of utility when compared to traditional products, which can be stored for years.  A short window of utility prohibits the traditional definition for the activity of manufacture to apply, and also affects the purchase, storage and use of CDP as an explosive product. 

Regardless, CDP is a unique explosive that cannot spontaneously explode or catch fire, whether from being heated or acted upon by water or significant impact.  CDP does not catch fire easily as heat causes dry ice to sublimate, creating a barrier between the heat source and the combustible metal, which remains protected as dry ice sublimates.  

Only under the extreme condition of a prolonged fire would the metal ignite, after a significant amount of dry ice ice has sublimated due to heat from the fire.  The result would be a metal fire, which is not explosive and can easily be extinguished with salt, sand or a Class D fire extinguisher.