From: (Brad Davis)
Subject: Fertilizer explosives...
Date: 2 Mar 90 04:19:24 GMT

Just as a background, my father works for one of the largest
explosives firms in the country.  His company makes and markets
fertilizers, most of what they sell is ammonium nitrate.  They will
sell a carload (railroad car, open top) of pellets (what you buy in
the 80 pound bags) and the purchaser will add oil right into the car.
This is then poured down the drill holes (as a slurry) and then
ignited with something conventional (dynamite, etc.).  All the big
open pit mines that I know of do this.  One of the travelling salesmen
loved to visit the gold mines in Nevada because they let him set the
charges off.

Most of their NH4NO3 is used as an oxidizer, some does make it to 
living things.

If anyone is interested I could find out exactly what oil and what
percentages the mines use.

Brad Davis