An explosives factory is a fixed site for the manufacture of blasting explosives, ammunition, fireworks, etc., or in the case of bulk explosives manufacturing, the site with the facilities necessary to clean, decontaminate and repair vehicles that support satellite sites, customer sites and temporary sites from which trials and demonstrations may be conducted and where the manufacture of product occurs.

The guidelines and standards developed by the Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD) must be followed when a site for the manufacture of explosives is developed.

For the minimum requirements for factories and satellites:

  • Guidelines for Bulk Explosives Facilities (G05-01)
  • Requirements for Bulk Mobile Process Units (G05-02)

For the requirements for sites where sorting and assembly of display fireworks are done:

  • Guidelines for the Storage, Sorting and Assembly of Fireworks (G05-21 - available soon)

Licensing fees for blasting explosive factories are based on the number of process units and vehicles they require and on the net weight of explosives stored at the site. The minimum fee is $3000 and the maximum is $30 000. All fees are based on a 12-month renewal cycle.

Factories that manufacture ammunition, propellants, rockets, fireworks and packaged explosives have unique requirements and fee structures.

Types of licences and certificates

Division 1 licences and satellite site certificates cover larger manufacturing operations, while Division 2 licences and manufacturing certificates are issued for smaller operations.

To determine what type of licence will be required when explosives are manufactured:

  • Review the manufacturing activities that do not need a licence or certificate (see section on Division 3, below).
  • If the planned activity is not listed in the section on Division 3, review the manufacturing activities listed in the section on Division 2 (below). If the activity falls under those mentioned in this section, and the maximum amounts of explosives mentioned for specific operations in this section are not exceeded, a Division 2 licence or certificate will be required.
  • If the planned activity does not fall under those listed for Division 2, or if the amounts of explosives will exceed the limits mentioned in Division2, a Division 1 licence will be required.

Division 1 Factory Licences or Satellite Site Certificates

Factory Licence: All manufacture of explosives that does not fall under a Division 2 licence and is not an activity exempted by Division 3, will require a Division 1 factory licence.

  • Examples of manufacturing activities requiring Division 1 factory licences are listed below:
  • Bulk explosives operations involving bulk emulsions and watergels delivered to clients with mobile process units
  • Manufacture of fireworks
  • Manufacture of ammunition
  • Manufacture of initiating systems for blasting
  • Manufacture of rocket motors

Satellite Site Certificate: A manufacturing certificate issued to the holder of a factory licence for manufacturing activities related to bulk explosives (emulsion or watergels).

Division 2 Factory Licences or Manufacturing CertificatesFootnote 1 :

Manufacture of:

  • ANFO (any quantity)
  • Small arms cartridges
  • (Maximum amounts: 225 kg explosives in cartridges and 75 kg of propellant powder)Footnote 2
  • Explosives for an experiment, test, demonstration, analysis at a school, university or other learning institution or law enforcement or government agency, private or commercial laboratory (Maximum amount of explosives 5 kg)Footnote 2
  • Consumer or display fireworks for personal use (Maximum amount of storage of finished fireworks 25 kg)Footnote 2
  • Rocket motors for personal use (Maximum amount of explosives 25 kg rocket motors and propellant powder combinedFootnote 2

And the following operations:

  • Preparation and storage of display fireworks at a site other than the site of display (any quantity)
  • Mixing of non-explosive components to manufacture an industrial explosives at a site they will be used (any quantity)
  • Preparation and packaging of assortments of explosives for the purpose of sale if storage is not covered by a vendor magazine licence (any quantity)
  • Any other activity relating to the manufacture and storage of explosives (any quantity)

Division 3

No factory licence or certificate is required for the following manufacturing activities:

  • Explosives for an experiment, test, demonstration, analysis at a school, university or other learning institution or law enforcement or government agency, private or commercial laboratory (Maximum amount of explosives 50 g)
  • Assembly of explosives at a place where the explosives will be used
  • Emulsion or watergel explosives: Pneumatically transferring, pumping, thickening, gassing, adding ammonium nitrate or ANFO
  • Pneumatic transfer of explosives at a surface mine or quarry
  • Mixing together ingredients of a multi-ingredient kit
  • Remove explosives from or repackage explosives at the site of a spill
  • Pump explosives (UN 0332, Class 1.5, Compatibility Group D as part of an Emergency Response Assistance Plan under The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992
  • Destroy deteriorated, expired or misfired explosives in a borehole with other explosives
  • Breaking up, unmaking or destroying of explosives by a government or law enforcement agency

Please refer to the Forms and Fees section for further details.