Five new Liebherr T 264 trucks deployed by Thiess at Encuentro Oxides operation in Chile

Thiess says its five new electric drive Liebherr T 264s are making an impression in Chile with their distinctive Thiess-blue trays, cementing its commitment to growing in the region. The trucks expand Thiess’ 240 t fleet range to deliver clients productivity and efficiency gains by allowing faster cycle times and higher load capacity. The units have been deployed to client Antofagasta Minerals’ Encuentro Oxides copper project (part of Minera Centinela), where Thiess carries out drilling, load and haul, mobile equipment maintenance and mine services.

Thiess Executive General Manager Americas, Darrell White, said the arrival of the highly efficient T 264 trucks was a first in Chile and demonstrated Thiess’ investment in sustainable mining practices and delivering clients optimised solutions. “The new T 264s feature electric drive and higher load capacity than similar class trucks currently used in Chile, providing our clients with the opportunity to increase production capacity,” White said. “They also support our efforts to service our clients with sustainable solutions while operating reliable, safe and productive operations. The blue trays make a real statement about our team – they’re a first in Chile and they symbolise the unique service offer our team brings to the industry.”

Last year, Liebherr Chile’s Mining Division Director Dale Clayton stated: “The T 264 truck has a 240 t nominal payload capacity and an impressive payload to empty vehicle weight ratio, leading to faster acceleration speeds, better speed on grade and higher hauling capacity resulting in shorter cycle times and a lower cost per tonne. The combination of a high-power Cummins QSK60 2,700 hp diesel engine with the extremely efficient Liebherr AC electric propulsion system allows for maximum productivity and reduced downtime. Our La Negra Facility and Reman Centre is well placed to provide spare parts and components as well as training and technical support, and our teams are experienced in servicing mining fleet in the unique conditions Chile offers.”

In 2015, construction began on the Encuentro Oxides project at the Minera Centinela operation. It uses seawater without desalination, similar to Centinela Sulfuros and Minera Antucoya. It is located in the second region of Chile, 145 km northeast of the city of Antofagasta. The operation started production in October 2017 and is currently expected to operate until 2026. It is producing approximately 43,000 t/y of copper cathode using the existing capacity at Centinela’s SX-EW plant. Under the Encuentro Oxides deposit lies the Encuentro Sulphides deposit which in the future is set to be mined after the new Esperanza Sur pit – both operations would supply a new second concentrator.