Chile-based global explosives and blasting major Enaex says its UG-iTruck®, which can perform 100% remote, robotic and autonomous explosives loading for tunnel development operations in underground mining, has now arrived at copper giant Codelco’s El Teniente operation, the world’s largest underground copper mine. Enaex stated: “By creating stronger bonds with Codelco, we have taken a step forward in the prevention and control of critical standards and risks for the safety of all.”
In 2022, the capabilities of UG-iTruck® was successfully demonstrated by Enaex in testing at a mine in front of major mining companies like Codelco and Glencore. The equipment is designed to load explosives in development tunnels, with the ability to measure the profile of each drillhole and clean them if necessary, then assemble boosters and detonators robotically, load emulsion, tram and detonate without the need for tie-up since wireless electronic detonators are used, thus making the blast from a safe area inside or outside the mine.
UG-iTruck® has a mechanised priming system and can manufacture Ugex Full Face®, an emulsion with a variable density that allows precision blasting and high performance. The the entire process is monitored from a remote control station or a centralised operations station.