On 12 August 1854 the Ballarat Times reported on plans to use a Voltaic battery upon a mining claim belonging to the Phelps party in the Post Office reserve. The introduction of electrical detonation for explosive charges truly revolutionised blasting practices throughout the mining industry. It was hoped that the plan to have a Voltaic battery would greatly reduce the number of mining accidents caused by blasting operations.
If the plan is found to answer, besides a great saving of expense, there will be far less liability to accidents than heretofore. A great number of accidents, some resulting fatally, and others that have occasioned permanent mutilation, have occurred during blasting operations upon Ballarat … Were the plan adopted generally upon Ballarat there would soon be a thinning of the casualty wards in the Hospital, and it is a matter well worthy of the consideration of all deep sinkers. Doubtless, many will laugh at the notion of firing the shots from the brace, instead of from below, but these are the very men who, if their opinion obtained, would put an end to all progress of any description.