Sweetnam (JDCL VP) False Claim #1: All of the blasts are designed so that we do not have flyrock.

The is: 90% of fly rock incidents are unexplainable

In spite of the best efforts of blasting contractors, unpredictable flyrock occurs as a result of irregularities in the rock geology such as seams, fissures, and voids.  The karst geology at the HQ site is characterized by such features.

Testimony to MOE regarding two flyrock incidents at the Pakenham Quarry near Arnprior Ontario on July 20 and 23, 2009 demonstrated that even competent, experienced contractors are unable to avoid the possibility of flyrock due to geological irregularities:

  • “Any experienced blaster would have had the same fly rock incident take place.”
  • “There is no technology available to identify anomalies in rock such as mud seams or voids.”
  • “90% of fly rock incidents are unexplainable.”

Mr. Morin, of JDCL’s blasting consultant Explotech, advised “. . .  that the hazard zone be increased to 500 m when firing any future blasts in this quarry.”


Numerous jurisdictions such as Nova Scotia, Texas, Australia, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization set minimum requirements of 400 to 800m or more for setbacks for surface blasting. Ontario has no minimum requirement.

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