In the presence of prominent authorities from the Antofagasta region, Minera Centinela, from the Antofagasta Minerals (AMSA) group, has held a launch ceremony for a new 100% electric fleet made up of 50 pickup trucks, plus eight units of mining equipment for the Esperanza Sur open pit copper mine, which together will contribute a reduction of more than 5,500 t of greenhouse gases per year.
With this, the company says it has concluded a project that began implementation a year ago and that places it as the mining company with the largest fleet of electric trucks in Chile.
Centinela’s new fleet of electric pick-up trucks are the Voltera brand, model R6, which have a range of 403 km and are capable of carrying up to 900 kg. It is a model that was specially developed for the mining sector, under real working conditions and at altitude with excellent results, presenting a series of benefits in environmental and other areas. As for the mining equipment, they are all BEVs from China’s XCMG and some of the units were previously displayed at the Expomin show in April, attended by IM. They consist of one HANWO-XG90 electric truck with a 20 m3 load capacity, capable of seven effective hours of work for one hour of charging. Added to this are two XC968-EV wheel loaders with a 3.2 m3 bucket capacity, again capable of seven effective hours of work for one hour of charging, and five XE270E battery excavators with a capacity of 1.4 m3, with four effective hours of charging for three hours of charging.
Electric XCMG equipment at Expomin in Santiago before shipping to Minera Centinela
As explained during the event by the General Manager of Minera Centinela, Carlos Espinoza, this initiative is part of the climate change strategy of Antofagasta Minerals, which seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, an objective that is fully in line with the goals that The State of Chile which have been established in accordance with its international commitments, and towards which AMSA has developed an electromobility roadmap.
“As an Antofagasta Minerals company, we assume the challenge of climate change not only with the conviction that we are contributing with the necessary copper to promote low-carbon technologies, which are necessary to advance in the energy transition. We also do it with the conviction that we cannot produce this mineral in any way. We have to do it in a way that is responsible with our current and future development, ensuring the sustainability of the environment and that allows us to continue contributing to the well-being of the country, while ensuring our competitiveness,” Espinoza said.
In this regard, the presidential delegate of Antofagasta, Karen Behrens, highlighted the innovative path that the company leads in environmental initiatives and technological and sustainable impact. “Initiatives like this are an important advance towards a new horizon for the mining industry, around clean energy, a reduction in the use of continental water and, above all, great milestones like this one, which ensure a path towards electromobility, as a way of face climate change.”
For her part, Ruth Rodríguez, Head of the Regional Government’s Development and Industry Division, highlighted the importance of this national milestone. “We want to congratulate Minera Centinela for this tremendous achievement, which we believe fits with the work we are doing as a Regional Government regarding the construction of the Regional Mining Strategy, both with Antofagasta Minerals and with other important companies in the area.”
The statement said that it should be noted that this initiative is just one more example in a long list that Minera Centinela has in terms of innovation and sustainability, which place it as an operation at the forefront of best practices in these areas, not only nationally, but also internationally. Since the beginning of 2022, Minera Centinela has been supplied with 100% renewable electricity sources, and since the beginning of 2023 it has been operating 100% with seawater.
It was also a pioneer in the world in the use of thickened tailings technology on a large scale. In addition, it has a solar thermal plant inside its facilities that allow it to heat part of the solutions used in its production process, this to mention some of its sustainable innovations.