05/03/2012 | Editor: Marcel Dröttboom
Codelco Chile has awarded the Continuous Mining EPCM for the Andina Division to global engineering and project delivery company, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM). The scope of the work includes engineering studies and the implementation of an innovative system in underground mining.
Melbourne (VIC), Australia – According to SKM, the new system is a technological breakthrough, of which a key aspect is the simultaneous and continuous automated ore extraction, in all active sites in a block, which ultimately can increase the average production rate substantially. The technology, devised by Codelco, will be tested in a complete block of exploitation, of approximately 10,000 cubic metres, with which a production of 6 to 7 million tonnes in approximately 1.5 years is expected.
Once the development of the technology is finalised, the next step will be to apply it to the operations and possibly to other Codelco underground structural projects where SKM has previously applied their knowledge and skills.
Codelco is the largest copper producer worldwide, and it also owns about 10 per cent of the world reserves of copper. The name Codelco stands for the Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile, an autonomous company that belongs to the State of Chile, whose main business is the exploration, development, and mining of copper and by-products, its processing into refined copper, and its subsequent marketing and sale. Codelco owns assets worth more than US$16 billion. In 2011, Codelco produced 1.7 million metric tonnes of refined copper (including its stake in the El Abra deposit). This figure is the equivalent of 11 per cent of world production. Its main commercial product is grade A copper cathode.
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