Codelco selects Sandvik AutoMine® Fleet solution with 13 LHDs for Recursos Norte

Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, has chosen Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply its leading AutoMine® Fleet automation solution and 13 autonomous loaders for the Recursos Norte operations at El Teniente mine in Chile. The contract will run from 2023 through 2027, supporting Codelco’s goal of operating the world’s most automated and digitalised mine.

This is a continuation of multiple automation solutions orders Sandvik has received from Codelco since 2019. After full implementation of the projects, Codelco will have more than 40 autonomous Sandvik trucks and loaders in operation at the El Teniente mine.  

“The Mining Management has already started the automation journey,” said Rodrigo Andrades, Mine Manager at El Teniente Underground Mine. “We have a major challenge to transform our operations into a fully autonomous mine in the next few years, and our main goal is to enhance our workers’ quality of life, improve our safety standards and to take our productivity processes to the next level.” 

The new order will be supplied in two phases. During 2023, Codelco will receive six Toro LH514 loaders, as well as an AutoMine® Fleet system capable of being scaled to support up to 13 machines and AutoMine® production area hardware for future expansions over several years. Toro™ LH514 loaders belong to Sandvik’s mid-size offering with a 14 t payload capacity. The loaders’ reliability, robust structure and Sandvik Intelligent Control System enable the use of highly advanced digital solutions, such as AutoMine®. 

The first phase of the order, which also includes support contracts for equipment maintenance, AutoMine® lifecycle services and software licensing, will be used by Codelco Recursos Norte in a new block caving area in El Teniente. As a key productivity partner, Sandvik will support Codelco in its shift towards automated mining operations and increasing its workforce knowledge on these technologies.   

The second phase of the order will be delivered from 2024 through 2027, in which Sandvik will provide seven more Toro LH514 loaders and an expansion for the AutoMine® Fleet system.  

“We would like to thank Codelco for its continued trust in Sandvik,” said Ricardo Pachon, Vice President, Sales South Cone and Andean at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions. “We look forward to supporting Codelco in its efforts to improve its operational efficiency and ultimately help to optimise mining process decisions.”

AutoMine® underground for loading and hauling is an automation system for autonomous and tele-remote operation of a wide range of Sandvik loaders and trucks. The scalable solution can provide tele-remote to fully autonomous operation for single or multiple machines, including full fleet automation with automatic mission and traffic control capability. 

The AutoMine® Fleet system is a highly advanced automation system for a fleet of Sandvik underground loaders and trucks sharing the same automated production area. It provides advanced traffic control capabilities and a wide range of interfaces for infrastructure integration to allow for complex automation applications in challenging environments. 

“We are proud to continue our valuable partnership with Codelco,” said David Hallett, Vice President Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions. “As a valued productivity partner, we will work closely with Codelco to ensure that our cutting-edge technologies enable them to move towards safer, more cost-efficient and sustainable mining operations in the future.”