Tag Archives: Carmen de Andacollo

MineSense continues growth trajectory with new South America HQ in Chile

MineSense Technologies officially opened its regional headquarters and service centre for South America in Santiago, Chile, this week, in another move to capture growth across one of the world’s key mining hubs.

Attended by senior executives and a MineSense workforce of over 50 hired so far in Chile and Peru, the ceremony celebrated the opening of a 3,000 sq.m facility in an industrial park in the Pudahuel district.

The headquarters includes corporate offices and a manufacturing area that increases service and production capacity to supply ShovelSense technology to meet South American and global demand, the company said.

Jeff More, President and CEO (pictured on stage), was on hand to cut the ribbon. He was joined by Victor Aguilera, member of the Board of Directors of MineSense Technologies Ltd and General Director of Aurus Investments; Claudio Toro-Salazar, Executive Vice President, Business Development; and Monica Feregrino, VP Operations.

MineSense, through the deployment of its ShovelSense solution, has been gaining ground in the bulk ore sorting space across South America.

Earlier this year, it deployed a second shovel-based unit at Teck Resources’ Carmen de Andacollo mine, in Chile. This followed an earlier successful trial at the operation.

It has also recently gone live with a deployment at Antamina, Peru’s largest mine, and has been trialling the XRF-based technology at Hudbay Minerals’ Constancia mine, also in Peru.

The ShovelSense system, through a sophisticated suite of sensors and algorithms, improves orebody visibility bucket by bucket in real time during the loading process, according to the company. Trucks are then automatically diverted to the correct location, increasing value and revenue realised during the mining process. The technology also creates reductions of CO2 emissions per tonne of ore produced, consumption of processing chemicals and reagents, energy and water, while maximising metal recovery, MineSense says.

To support mine site operations and their ore decision making, MineSense also provides 24/7 data room technical support for continuous monitoring of all elements of system performance.

Teck’s Carmen de Andacollo goes live with MineSense shovel-based ore sorting system

Following a successful trial of a MineSense’s ShovelSense ore sorting unit at Teck Resources’ Carmen de Andacollo mine in Chile, the operation is now using the system to divert trucks in real-time, MineSense says.

The implementation of an additional ShovelSense system at CDA is now also underway, the Vancouver-based company says.

CDA is Teck Resource’s second mining operation using ShovelSense, following commercialisation in 2019 at Highland Valley Copper (HVC) in British Columbia, Canada.

“The ShovelSense results are spectacular!” Victor Araya, Teck Superintendent Geology, said, referring to the results of the trial recently completed.

All new technology introduced into the mine is rigorously tested at different stages of evaluation at scale to ensure the system works reliably in the field, according to MineSense. ShovelSense exceeded one-digit accuracy (single-digit relative error) measuring copper ore and met and exceeded expectations for all criteria in the trial: system availability; accuracy to blast hole data; and precision in the field, the company reported.

Teck CDA also recently celebrated the diversion of seven ore-from-waste trucks, which are the first of many that ShovelSense data will automatically divert to maximise ore recovery and minimise the needless transportation and processing of waste, MineSense said.

“We have now incorporated ShovelSense to decide the destination of the materials, not at the block scale, but truck to truck, due to the reading of grades on each shelf of the loading equipment… the end result is increased ore to mill tonnage and also a significant improvement in feed grade,” Araya concluded.

Claudio Toro, EVP Business Development at MineSense, added: “We are proud that Teck has chosen to partner with MineSense again, demonstrating confidence that ShovelSense is a proven and valued technology. Global mining operations are continually seeking new ways to get more value out of their mines and extend the life of mine and we are pleased to again be chosen by Teck.

“ShovelSense is a proven solution that unlocks a mine’s full potential.”

Hear more about Teck CDA’s installation on April 25 when MineSense and International Mining will be holding a joint webinar titled, ‘Ore sorting at the extraction face’ at 10 am EST/4pm CEST. Click here for more information

Teck Resources’ Highland Valley operation to join the Copper Mark

Teck Resources says it has committed to the Copper Mark, a voluntary assurance framework to promote responsible production practices and demonstrate the industry’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with its Highland Valley Copper Operations, in British Columbia, Canada, becoming its first copper operation to sign up to the framework.

“Copper is critical for the transition to a low-carbon economy and we have outlined near-term plans and future opportunities for significant copper production growth in the years ahead, and we are focused on being a responsible producer of this essential metal,” Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck, said. “Our participation in the Copper Mark is another way we’re enhancing transparency and ensuring customers have the information they need on our performance as a responsible copper producer.”

Michèle Brülhart, Executive Director of the Copper Mark, said: “Copper has a critical role to play in the green transition as a vital material in clean energy technologies. The Copper Mark sets out a framework to verify that copper producers operate responsibly while contributing to the development of the low-carbon economy.”

To achieve the Copper Mark, Teck’s Highland Valley Copper operations will be assessed and independently verified against 32 responsible production criteria this year. Teck currently plans for its Carmen de Andacollo operations in Chile and the QB2 project in Chile, which is expected to begin production in the second half of 2022, to begin the Copper Mark assurance process in 2023.

In August, the Copper Mark announced that two of KGHM Polska Miedź SA’s operations – Glogów and Legnica (both in Poland) – had also joined the framework.

Orica leverages MWD data, AI to create new blast loading design benchmark

Orica is looking to set a new benchmark for blast loading designs in Latin America after deploying its Design for Outcome solution in the region.

The company, focused on integrating its digital blasting tools to improve outcomes, is leveraging its BlastIQ digital blast optimisation platform within this new solution, Angus Melbourne, Chief Commercial and Technology Officer of Orica, told delegates at Massmin 2020 last week.

In a presentation titled, ‘Blasting’s Critical Role in Extracting Ore’, Melbourne mentioned Design for Outcome as an example of where the company was delivering integrated digital solutions in Latin America.

“Design for Outcome is an automated continual optimisation solution that sets a new benchmark for blast loading designs,” he said. “It utilises data science to process both upstream and downstream data to automate blast designs. This produces tailored and optimised blast designs by reducing blast variability and explosive consumption while increasing productivity.”

Using machine-learning algorithms, Design for Outcome processes measured-while-drilling data to classify ground hardness throughout each blast hole and then match explosives energy to hardness domains to automatically generate tailored blast loading designs, Melbourne explained.

Through artificial intelligence, these algorithms are trained with the data received from the fleet control systems (FMS) and previous blast results. This enables final automation of the blasting design process and its execution in the field with Orica’s smart control systems and programming interfaces, loading the blast accurately according to the generated design. These elements combine to ensure the desired outcomes are achieved, Melbourne said.

“Digitally-enabled blasting solutions such as Design for Outcome are allowing us to work with customers in different ways, to think and act differently and expand our role in the mining value chain,” he said.

Such a solution is part of the company’s plans to automate its segment of the mining process. This goal was strengthened last month with the launch of the Orica and Epiroc jointly developed Avatel™ semi-automated explosives delivery system.

A key enabling technology of Avatel, which is built on the foundation of Epiroc’s Boomer M2 carrier, and Orica’s automation vision is WebGen™, the company’s fully wireless initiation system. When combined with Orica’s LOADPlus™ smart control system, specifically designed on-board storage, assembly, digital encoding capability and Subtek™ Control bulk emulsion, Avatel provides customers with complete and repeatable control over blast energy from design through to execution, Orica says.

While referencing the second key pillar in Orica’s digital strategy, Melbourne highlighted the use of the company’s Bulkmaster™ 7 smart, connected explosives delivery system in Latin America during the virtual event.

The new delivery systems not only improve productivity but begin to digitise critical workflows between design and execution in drill and blast operations, according to Melbourne.

The Antamina copper mine in Peru, a joint venture between BHP, Glencore, Teck and Mitsubishi, will soon be leveraging such a system, with Melbourne confirming seven Bulkmaster 7 units had been shipped to the mine and were undergoing commissioning.

Orica’s third digitalisation pillar is the measurement of downstream impacts of the drill and blast process, which is where FRAGTrack™, the company’s automated rock fragmentation measurement device comes into play.

This device captures, analyses and reports real-time data for optimising blast operations, improving downstream productivity and tracking overall operational performance in mining and quarrying, Melbourne explained.

This system is active across several key customer sites in Latin America, with Teck’s Carmen de Andacollo operation in Chile being one of the first to adopt the technology in the world, according to Melbourne. He said the copper operation is using the insights to deliver efficiencies across the value chain through digitally enabled optimised blasting.

Teck and AES shake on renewable power agreement for Carmen de Andacollo copper mine

Teck Resources and The AES Corp’s Chile affiliates, Compañía Minera Teck Carmen de Andacollo SA (CdA) and AES Gener SA, have entered into a long-term power purchase agreement to provide 100% renewable power for Teck’s Carmen de Andacollo Operation in Chile.

Under the agreement, CdA will source 72 MW (550 GWh/y) from AES Gener’s growing renewable portfolio of wind, solar and hydroelectric energy.

The transition to renewable power will replace previous fossil fuel power sources and eliminate around 200,000 t/y of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent to removing over 40,000 passenger vehicles from the road, Teck says.

Don Lindsay, President and CEO of Teck, said: “Teck is tackling the global challenge of climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of our operations and working towards our goal of becoming carbon neutral. This agreement takes Teck a step closer to achieving our sustainability goals, while also ensuring a reliable, long-term clean power supply for CdA at a reduced cost to Teck.”

Andrés Gluski, AES Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer, said the company was honoured to continue working with Teck to help the miner progress towards its goal of carbon neutrality.

“By providing Teck with innovative renewable energy solutions, AES Gener is helping build Chile’s sustainable and reliable grid of the future,” Gluski said.

As part of its updated Sustainability Strategy, Teck has set the goal of being a carbon-neutral operator by 2050. In support of that long-term objective, Teck has established milestone goals including sourcing 100% of all power needs in Chile from renewable power by 2030 and reducing the carbon intensity of operations by 33% by 2030. Teck previously announced an agreement with AES Gener to supply renewable power for the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project currently under construction. Once effective, more than 50% of QB2’s total operating power needs will be from renewable sources.

The Carmen de Andacollo renewable power arrangement is in effect as of September 1, 2020, and will run through to the end of 2031.

Alejandro Vásquez, Vice President, South America, Teck, said: “Switching to clean, renewable power for Carmen de Andacollo is another step forward in our ongoing commitment to responsible resource development across our operations and activities.”

Carmen de Andacollo is an open-pit copper mine located in the Coquimbo Region of central Chile, around 350 km north of Santiago. Teck owns a 90% interest in the mine, with Empresa Nacional de Minería holding the remaining 10%. It produced 54,000 t of copper in 2019.