Tag Archives: Chile

Teck renews carbon reduction goals with help of AES

Teck Resources, AES Corp and their respective Chile-based affiliates, Compañía Minera Teck Quebrada Blanca SA and AES Gener SA, have entered into a long-term power purchase agreement for the Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) copper project in Chile, which will enable the transition to renewable energy for around half the power required for the operation.

Under this arrangement, CMTQB will source 118 MW for Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 from AES Gener’s growing renewable portfolio of wind, solar and hydroelectric energy, in addition to the 21 MW of solar power already contracted from AES Gener. Once effective, more than 50% of QB2’s total operating power needs are expected to be from renewable sources, Teck said.

The transition to renewable power will replace QB2’s previous fossil fuel power sources, avoiding some 800,000 t/y of greenhouse gas emissions. “That is equivalent to the emissions of about 170,000 combustion engine passenger vehicles – equal to permanently parking more than half of all the cars in the City of Vancouver, or all the cars in the Tarapacá Region of Chile where QB2 is located,” Teck said.

The renewable power arrangement will come into effect as early as January 2022 and will run through October 2042. CMTQB’s other arrangements with AES Gener, totaling 122 MW of power, are not impacted, Teck said.

Don Lindsay, President and CEO of Teck, said: “Switching to renewable power for QB2 is part of Teck’s ongoing work to reduce emissions, achieve carbon neutrality across our business and support global action on climate change. This agreement secures reliable, long-term power for our major copper growth project at no additional cost, while helping to reduce our environmental footprint.”

Lindsay said the company would continue to explore further opportunities to increase the use of renewable energy as part of Teck’s ongoing focus on decarbonisation.

Andrés Gluski, President and CEO of AES, said: “We are proud to work with our customers in the transition to a low-carbon energy future. We have a long-term relationship with Teck and are happy to support their evolving energy needs.”

Ricardo Manuel Falú, AES Gener’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “At AES Gener, we are contributing to the mining sector’s goal of being more sustainable while supporting the decarbonisation of the Chilean energy matrix. With our Greentegra strategy and our Coal to Green solution, we enable our customers to become greener and more competitive by replacing coal-based energy sources with renewables.”

The $4.74 billion project is expected to produce 316,000 t/y of copper-equivalent for the first five full years at all-in sustaining costs of $1.38/Ib ($3,043/t). The initial mine life of 28 years uses less than 25% of the current reserve and resource, according to Teck and, based on a $3/Ib average copper price over the life of the mine, QB2 is expected to provide a net present value (8% discount) of $2.43 billion.

In addition to renewable power, QB2 will also feature the first large-scale use of desalinated seawater for mining in the Tarapacá Region of Chile, in place of freshwater use.

The QB2 announcement comes at the same time as Teck announced a goal of becoming carbon neutral across its operations and activities by 2050.

“This objective builds on Teck’s progress on climate action to date, including implementing projects and initiatives to reduce GHG emissions at its operations by 289,000 t since 2011 – the equivalent to taking over 88,000 combustion engine cars off the road – and 81% of Teck’s current total electricity consumption is from renewable energy sources.”

AES is also committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 50% by 2022 and 70% by 2030, compared with a 2016 baseline. Aligned with that goal, AES Gener is leading the decarbonisation efforts in Chile, with the largest amount of renewable energy capacity under construction in that country, according to Teck.

ICMM looks to align mining industry on cleaner, safer vehicles

When the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) launched its Innovation for Cleaner, Safer Vehicles (ICSV) program just over a year ago, some industry participants may not have realised how much progress could be made so quickly by taking a collaborative approach.

The ICMM has proven influential across the mining industry since its foundation in 2002 in areas such as corporate and social governance, environmental responsibility, and stakeholder relations, yet it has rarely, until this point, engaged directly as an industry group with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers.

Close to 12 months after being established, it’s clear to see the program and the council itself has been successful in bridging a divide.

It has been able to corral a significant portion of the mining and mining OEM market players into a major industry discussion on core focus areas set to dominate the sector for the next two decades.

Now 27 of the world’s leading mining companies and 16 of the best-known truck and mining equipment suppliers are collaborating in a non-competitive space “to accelerate the development of a new generation of mining vehicles that will make vehicles cleaner and safer,” the ICMM says.

The ICSV program was created to address three of the most critical safety, health and environment performance issues in the ICMM’s mission towards zero harm and decarbonisation. Achieving this goal would involve the industry introducing and adopting the next generation of equipment to respond to the challenges.

More specifically, the program aims to:

  • Introduce greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040;
  • Minimise the operational impact of diesel exhaust by 2025; and
  • Make collision avoidance technology (capable of eliminating vehicle related collisions) available to mining companies by 2025.

In all three, it seeks to address the industry’s innovation challenge of ‘who motivates who’ or the chicken and egg analogy, according to Sarah Bell, Director, Health, Safety and Product Stewardship for the ICMM.

“You can imagine a mining company saying, ‘we can’t adopt technology that doesn’t yet exist’ or an OEM saying, ‘we can’t invest in development because we’re getting mixed market signals’. This is, of course, why this program has been set up in the way it has,” she told IM. “Bringing both the mining company and OEMs together, they have been able to work through these normal innovation challenges and align on defining the direction of travel and critical complexity to be solved for each of the ambitions set.”

High-level participation

The list of companies the ICMM has been able to involve in this program is impressive.

It is being guided by a CEO advisory group of six; three from the mining community – Andrew Mackenzie (CEO, BHP), Mark Cutifani (CEO, Anglo American) and Nick Holland (CEO, Gold Fields) – and three from the mining equipment supply side – Denise Johnson (Group President of Resource Industries at Caterpillar), Max Moriyama (President of the Mining Business Division at Komatsu) and Henrik Ager (President of Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology).

On the mining company front, ICMM membership makes up around 30% of the total metal market share, with some 46% in copper, 27% in gold and 42% in iron ore. Participating OEMs and third-party technology providers, meanwhile, include the three majors above, plus Cummins, Epiroc, Wabtec Corporation (formerly GE), Hexagon Mining, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Liebherr, MacLean Engineering, MTU, Modular Mining Systems, PBE Group, Nerospec, Future Digital Communication and Miller Technology.

Bell says the high-level participation builds the “widespread confidence” needed to accelerate investment in these three key areas”, while the ICMM’s focus on the leadership side of the technology integration equation and change management has proven “absolutely key”.

She clarified: “This collaboration operates under anti-competition and anti-trust rules. Our role is to convene the parties, motivate action and promote solutions.”

The program offers a “safe space for the OEMs and members to work openly in a non-competitive environment”, she added, explaining that the aim is not to come up with “preferred technologies”, but define the “functional and operational pathways required to meet the ambitions set”.

Vehicle interaction (VI)

Some of the ambitions look easier to achieve than others.

For instance, collision avoidance and proximity detection technology has made huge strides in the last decade, with the ICMM arguing its 2025 target is like a “sprint”, compared with the “10,000 m race” that is minimising DPM underground by 2025 and the longer-term aim to introduce GHG-free surface mining vehicles by 2040.

“There are regulations that require implementation of collision avoidance and proximity detection technology by the end of 2020 in South Africa,” Bell said. This will undoubtedly provide a catalyst for further developments to speed up.

The ICSV program is also leveraging the work of the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT) in its development of fundamental functional/performance requirements for operators and technology providers.

These requirements were updated and released by EMESRT in September and are known as ‘PR5A’.

Credit: Hexagon Mining

Bell delved into some detail about these requirements:

“The EMERST requirements are designed around a nine-level system that seeks to eliminate material unwanted scenarios such as – equipment to person, equipment to equipment, equipment to environment and loss of control,” she said.

“The fundamental change with this newly released set of functional requirements by EMESRT is that the mining industry users have defined the functional needs for levels 7-9 (operator awareness, advisory controls, and intervention controls). That stronger level of collaboration hasn’t necessarily been there.”

EMESRT and its guidelines have been given an expanded global platform through the ICMM’s ICSV, with the program, this year, providing the convening environment for users and technology providers to help finalise these updated requirements, according to Bell.

With all of this already in place, one could be forgiven for thinking the majority of the hard work involved with achieving the 2025 goal is done, but the working group focused on VI knows that while OEMs continue to retrofit third-party vehicle collision and avoidance systems to their machines the job is not complete.

“Let’s think about the seatbelt analogy: you don’t give buyers of vehicles a choice as to whether they want a seatbelt in their car; it just comes with the car,” Bell said.

“At the moment, by design, vehicles don’t always have this collision and avoidance systems built in, therefore there is a big opportunity for collaboration between OEMs and third-party technology providers.”

Underground DPM goals

“The DPM working group have recognised that, in the case of the DPM ambition, ‘the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed’,” Bell said.

“Bringing together the OEMs and the mining companies this year through the ICSV program has enabled the group to explore the variety of existing solutions out there today,” she added.

These existing solutions include higher-tier engines, battery-electric equipment, tethered electric machinery, fuel cell-equipped machines for narrow vein mining and solutions to remove DPMs and other emissions from the environment like Johnson Matthey’s CRT system.

And, there are numerous examples from North America – Newmont Goldcorp at Borden, and Glencore and Vale in Sudbury – South America – Codelco at El Teniente Underground – and Europe – Agnico Eagle Mines at Kittilä (Finland, pictured) – to draw from.

Bell also mentioned some examples from Australia where regulatory changes have seen miners apply existing technology and carry out changes in their work plans and maintenance practices to minimise DPM emissions.

Haulage and loading flexibility, battery charging and mine design have all come under the spotlight since these new generation of ‘green’ machines have emerged, so achieving the 2025 goal the ICSV stated is by no means a foregone conclusion.

“There remains more work to do in achieving diesel-free vehicles underground,” Bell said.

The interested parties are aware of this and the program’s DPM maturity framework is helping miners and OEMs plot a course to reaching the target, she explained.

“The DPM maturity framework promotes existing solutions available today that would enable a mining operation to reduce their DPM emissions to a level that would meet the ambition level (shown as Level 4 – transition to zero),” she said.

These frameworks are useful for starting a “change conversation”, Bell said, explaining that mining companies can assess within their organisations where they currently sit on the five-level chart and discuss internally how to move up the levels to meet their goals.

These same frameworks look beyond minimising “the operational impact” of DPM emissions underground, with Bell explaining that Level 5 of the maturity framework involves “non-DPM emitting vehicles”.

GHG-free surface mining vehicles

Even further in the distance is the longer-term target of introducing greenhouse gas emission-free surface mining vehicles by 2040.

This ambition, more than any other, is less clearly defined in terms of technological solutions across the industry.

While battery-electric solutions look like having the goods to reach DPM-free status underground with expected developments in battery technology and charging, the jury is still out on if they can create a GHG-free large-scale open-pit mining environment.

The world’s largest battery-electric haul truck – eMining’s 63-t payload eDumper (pictured) – may have proven its worth at a Ciments Vigier-owned quarry in Switzerland, but the world’s largest open-pit mines require a solution on another scale altogether.

As Bell said: “There is a lot of work to do to develop batteries at scale for surface fleet that suit the different operating conditions.

“That’s a key point because that lends itself to the fact that we don’t want one solution; we will need multiple solutions. We don’t want to stifle innovation; we want to encourage it.”

ICMM member Anglo American has hinted that hydrogen power could be one solution, and the miner is looking to show this next year with the development of its hydrogen-powered 300-t payload haul truck.

There has also been in the last 18-24 months a mini renaissance of trolley assist projects that, ABB’s Gunnar Hammarström told IM recently, could, in the future, work in tandem with battery-powered solutions to provide a GHG-free solution.

The ability for industry to pilot and validate technology options like this “within the boundaries of anti-competition” is crucial for its later adoption in the industry, Bell said.

She said a key enabler of industry decarbonisation is access to cost competitive clean electricity, which would indicate that regions like South America and the Nordic countries could be of interest in the short and medium term for deploying pilot projects.

It is this goal where the industry R&D spend could potentially ramp up; something the ICMM and the ICSV is aware of.

“For the OEMs and mining companies to effectively minimise capital expenditure, optimise R&D expenditure and reduce the change management required by the industry, there needs to be a careful balance of encouraging innovation of solutions, whilst managing the number of plausible outcomes,” Bell said.

In terms of encouraging the development of these outcomes, carbon pricing mechanisms could provide some positive industry momentum. Vale recently acknowledged that it would apply an internal carbon tax/price of $50/t when analysing its future projects, so one would expect other companies to be factoring in such charges to their future mine developments.

Industry-wide GHG emission caps could also provide a catalyst. In countries such as Chile – where up to 80% of emissions can come from haul trucks, according to ICMM Senior Programme Officer, Verónica Martinez – carbon emission reduction legislation could really have an impact on technology developments.

Forward motion

While 2019 was a year when the three working groups – made up of close to 50 representatives in each work stream – outlined known barriers or opportunities that might either slow down or accelerate technology developments, 2020 will be the year that regional workshops convened to “encourage first adopters and fast followers” to move these three ambitions forward take place, Bell said.

A knowledge hub containing the previously spoken of maturity frameworks (delivered for all three groups) will allow the wider industry outside of the ICMM membership to gain a better understanding of how the miner-OEM-service provider collaboration is working.

Bell said the ICMM already has a number of members testing these group frameworks on an informal self-assessment basis to understand “how they are being received at an asset level and feedback insights to the group in an effort to understand how we may portray an industry representative picture of where we are today”.

Such strategies bode well for achieving these goals into the future and, potentially, changing the dynamic that has existed between end users and suppliers in the mining sector for decades.

Bell said: “The feedback that we got from OEMs is that mining companies had completely different objectives, but they have now greater confidence that we are aligned on the direction of travel towards the ambitions set.”

Wood studies Coro Mining’s development options at Marimaca copper project

Coro Mining says it has appointed Wood to advance engineering studies related to the development of its Marimaca copper project, in northern Chile.

The study announcement came at the as Coro announced a resource increase at Marimaca, which, the company said, established Marimaca as one of the largest copper oxide discoveries in northern Chile in over a decade.

The engineering studies are aimed at demonstrating the value to be captured by combining Marimaca’s significantly enlarged resource – now standing at 420,000 t of contained copper in the measured and indicated categories and 224,000 t in the inferred category – with “easy access to excellent infrastructure”, and move Coro from “a ‘cents per pound in the ground’ exploration project to a credible development company to be valued on a net present value basis”, Coro said.

Wood is set to take on a range of engineering studies to demonstrate the economics for a conventional full-scale project at Marimaca; and low capital expenditure (capex) alternatives for staged development at Marimaca, leveraging the nearby Ivan SX-EW plant (100% owned by Coro), according to Coro.

On the latter, Coro said: “The objective of staged development would be to minimise upfront capex and limit equity dilution to Coro’s shareholders.”

The company anticipates that the work from the various studies will be completed during 2020 and news will be released as work progresses.

A June 2018 feasibility study on just the Marimaca 1-23 Claim returned an after-tax internal rate of return of 58.8% and initial capital costs of $22.6 million for the upgrading and start-up of the Ivan plant, at a $3/lb ($6,614/t) copper price.

Pucobre to employ Epiroc 6th Sense solution at UG copper mines

Epiroc says it has signed a collaboration agreement with Sociedad Punta del Cobre SA (Pucobre) in Chile to digitalise the company’s mining operations, in turn, boosting productivity and safety.

The mining OEM is helping Pucobre to enhance its mining operations in the Atacama region of northern Chile, with the collaboration including defining new ways of working and new roles as well as development of an integrated information management system, it said.

Epiroc’s new 6th Sense Mine Management Solution will be included in this solution, combining Pucobre’s existing systems with, for instance, scheduler and other task management and reporting features, Epiroc said.

The new solution is already visible in Pucobre’s newly established Control Tower (pictured).

Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s Senior Executive Vice President Mining and Infrastructure, said the 6th Sense collaboration with Pucobre would help modernise its mine operations and make it safer and more productive. “This represents the future of mining,” she added.

Sebastián Ríos, Pucobre’s CEO, said the company had high expectations for 6th Sense to continue improving the safety and productivity of its underground copper mining operations.

“We have strengthened our relationship with Epiroc, as we both target excellence in mining operations,” he said. “We rely on Epiroc’s strategic approach, its collaborative work and its professional team, which is regularly present at our mine site.”

The 6th Sense system can be connected to the customer’s existing machine fleet regardless of make or model, according to Epiroc.

“6th Sense is Epiroc’s new way to optimise customers’ processes through automation, system integration and information management – enabling a smart, safe and seamless operation,” the company said.

The collaboration extends the partnership between the companies. Pucobre’s Epiroc equipment includes Simba production drill rigs, Boomer face drilling rigs, and Scooptram and Minetruck underground loading and haulage vehicles, Epiroc said. The company also provides Pucobre with consumables and service.

BHP builds its ‘green’ copper credentials at Escondida, Spence

BHP says new renewable energy contracts it has recently signed in Chile will reduce energy prices for its Escondida and Spence copper mines by around 20% and help displace up to 3 Mt/y of CO2 emissions from these operations.

These agreements not only benefit BHP’s business but generate strong environmental and social value, according to Daniel Malchuk, President Operations for BHP’s Minerals Americas business.

BHP operates and own 57.5% of the Escondida mine, a leading producer of copper concentrate and cathodes from a copper porphyry deposit, in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Spence, which is 100% owned by BHP, is also in northern Chile.

He said: “Population growth and higher living standards combined with greater electrification are expected to push up demand for copper. This means that copper in products such as electric cars and renewable energy infrastructure, which are vital to the world’s sustainable growth, must be produced to the highest environmental aspirations.”

The new energy contracts, along with BHP’s investment in desalinated water in Chile, demonstrate social value in action and help drive the wider agenda for sustainable green copper, according to Malchuk.

Social value is one strategic pillar the company embeds in all its decision-making and informs the way in which it provides resources and generates long-term, sustainable value. This was the subject of BHP Chief External Affairs Officer, Geoff Healy’s speech in London earlier this month.

Malchuk said the company has negotiated four new power contracts that will meet its energy requirements at Escondida and Spence from 100% renewable energy sources by the mid-2020s.

“When fully operational, these renewable supply arrangements will eliminate virtually all of Escondida and Spence Scope 2 emissions (emissions from purchased energy), effectively displacing up to 3 Mt of CO2 annually compared to the fossil fuel contracts they replace,” he said. “This is the equivalent to annual emissions from about 700,000 combustion engine cars and accounts for around 70% of BHP’s Minerals Americas total greenhouse gas emissions.”

These actions also support Chile’s wider “Energia 2025” power policy target for 20% of all Chilean energy to come from renewable sources by 2025.

Following a competitive tender process, Escondida and Spence agreed separate 15-year contracts for 3 TWh/y and 10-year contracts for 3 TWh/year with ENEL Generación Chile and Colbún respectively. The ENEL contracts will begin in August 2021 and the Colbún contracts in January 2022, BHP said, with power supplied from solar, wind and hydro sources.

Malchuk said: “These contracts are practical examples of our commitment to social value that are linked to a sound business case. We estimate the agreements will reduce energy prices at our Escondida and Spence copper mine operations by around 20%, provide our operations flexibility and security of supply, and strengthen our ability to deliver sustainable copper across our supply chain.”

On top of this, the company has confirmed that its Spence operations will begin using desalinated water as the main source of supply from mid-2020 upon completion of a 1,000 l/s capacity desalination plant. This was part of a plan the company outlined in 2017 to grow the Spence operation.

This is on top of the more than $4 billion, 2,500-l/s desalination plant the company built at Escondida.

Malchuk said: “Water is a precious commodity that is critical to our operations in Chile and to the communities where we operate in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest regions in the world. We recognise our operations have an impact on the environment given the immense amount of water they consume.”

He added: “Our Water Stewardship position statement, launched last month, outlines our vision for a water secure world by 2030. It sets out our actions to improve water management within our operations and contribute to more effective water governance beyond the mine gate.

“We strongly support the UN Sustainable Development Goals on access to clean and affordable water. That’s why we will set public targets and engage industry, communities and governments to improve governance, transparency and collaboration in water management.”

ABT’s Failsafe brakes gain foothold in Chile mining market

Advanced Braking Technology has received an order from Minecorp-Chile that will see its Failsafe brakes used by Orica at two underground copper mines, in northern Chile.

The order, made by Minecorp-Chile on behalf of General Motors vehicle dealership, SALFA Chile, achieves one of the company’s strategic objectives of further diversifying its customer base for innovative braking solutions, ABT said.

The initial order will see Failsafe brakes installed on the Isuzu NPS4X4 truck: an existing ABT product application that will require no further engineering, it said.

The end user of these Isuzu NPS Canter trucks will be Orica Chile SA who will use the trucks in the two Codelco-owned underground mine operations.

The Isuzu NPS4X4 was first introduced to the Chile market by General Motors in April 2019, with these ABT Failsafe brakes fitted to some of the first trucks delivered into the country, ABT said.

ABT CEO, John Annand, said: “This order is further demonstration that our Failsafe range of braking products are valued around the world and have a place in vehicles in a range of applications where safety, maintenance and cost efficiencies are paramount. Our team is committed to exploiting these opportunities on a global scale.”

The value of this first order is for around A$150,000 ($101,559) and includes Failsafe kits to be held in stock. This initial order will be further supplemented by the ongoing supply of spares and consumables, the company said.

ABT added: “This is an initial order from Minecorp-Chile, as it is expected that General Motors dealers will have further demand for Failsafe as the Isuzu NPS 4×4 Canter is marketed as a new truck application within Chile.

“In addition, Minecorp-Chile is in early stage discussions with other potential customers for a ABT Failsafe solution across other truck and light duty vehicle applications.”

Annand said: “Chile and the broader Latin America represents a significant growth opportunity for ABT as we look to supply innovative braking solutions, not only to mining contractors like Orica but other global mining companies where the safety of their people and equipment are paramount.”

Minecorp-Chile Director, Sebastián Dibarrart, said: “This initial order is the first of what is expected to be an ongoing supply requirement for ABT products into the Chilean mining vehicle market. Whilst this order is for the Failsafe product, further opportunities will be pursued for the entire suite of ABT products, including Terra Dura. Minecorp-Chile looks forward to working with ABT to exploit these opportunities in what we know is a growing, but under serviced Chilean market.”

Dibarrart added: “Codelco Chile, the largest copper produce rin the world with the largest underground copper operation, the El Teniente mine, together with the transformation of its Chuquicamata mine into an underground operation including hundreds of kilometers of tunnel development, will undoubtedly be an ideal end user of ABT Failsafe brakes.”

ABT also recently received an order for Failsafe brakes that will be used at the Rio Tinto-operated Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.

GroundProbe extends Americas mine, tailings dam monitoring reach with Santiago centre

GroundProbe has launched a dedicated monitoring centre in Santiago, Chile, to, it says, provide 24/7 real-time radar and laser monitoring services for tailings dams and mines throughout North and South America.

The centre connects remote sites with industry experts in three languages, according to GroundProbe, with the facility monitoring live slope stability data and reacting to alarms to ensure the maximum safety of people and communities.

Crewed by 45 specialised geotechnical engineers, these centre provide 24/7 expertise to over 30 customers globally, GroundProbe says.

GroundProbe, owned by Orica, is a global leader in real-time technologies used to detect instabilities and predict when mine and dam collapses will occur.

From a launch event in Santiago, GroundProbe CEO Brian Gillespie said the new centre marked an important step for GroundProbe’s future growth, especially for South and North America.

“We’ve witnessed a boom in Brazil for continuous, real-time monitoring of tailings dams, with a huge increase in demand for our remote, 24/7 geotechnical expertise,” Gillespie said.

“We saw it as an absolute necessity to bolster our offering and extend our support services from Asia Pacific to the Americas.

“Placing the centre in Santiago and ensuring its tri-lingual capabilities allows us to do just that.”

GroundProbe has, for many years, been providing 24/7 assistance to customers from its Asia-Pacific monitoring centre. The addition of a second location, operating in Spanish, Portuguese and English, sees GroundProbe remain at the forefront of our industry, the company said.

David Noon, COO of GroundProbe, said: “Our Santiago remote monitoring centre is operational from day one, with our teams already monitoring many tailings dams, a massive hydro-electric dam and even a landslide on a national highway in Colombia.

“Not only is it essential to our customers that our team are native Spanish and Portuguese speakers, but having a centre in Latin America shows our level of commitment to the region and to creating jobs in the local communities we serve.”

To mark the launch, GroundProbe and Orica hosted an event with key customers, industry representatives and stakeholders (pictured).

GroundProbe’s monitoring centres are home to its Geotechnical Support Services (GSS) team and dedicated team of geotechnical support engineers.

The second monitoring centre in Santiago will provide the same services to customers, including: GSS-Remote, a 24-hour remote monitoring solution; GSS-Training, a SSR and laser training service; and GSS-Reporting, the company’s customised analysis and reporting service.

Components Only expands offering to Chile, Mongolia

Australia-based business, Components Only says it is establishing offices in Chile and Mongolia as it looks to tap into the high-profile mining markets in those regions.

Calling itself a leader in the buying, selling and sourcing of new, used and rebuilt components for heavy machinery across the mining, construction and earthmoving industries, the company said the move was predicated on responding to increased demand for its services and expertise.

Components Only Accounts Director, Ben Hailes (pictured on the left), said: “Both rich in resources, Chile and Mongolia utilise similar equipment to our existing markets of Australia and North America and we are confident that with local staff we can respond to the increasing trade requirements of these economies.”

Chile is the world’s largest producer of copper, with the mining industry a major employer in the country. The sector represents around 10 percent of the nation’s GDP. Mongolia, meanwhile, boasts significant proven deposits of gold, copper, iron ore and coal, with its minerals sector underdeveloped and holding enormous potential, Components Only said.

Hailes continued: “Our expansion into Chile and Mongolia is an opportunity for us to leverage our proven business model, as well as to create positive economic impacts for both nations through employment and development of infrastructure. We’re committed to improving these regions, and we look forward to working with the local communities.”

Components Only’s services encompass the sourcing of new, used and rebuilt components worldwide; selling, appraising and disposing of excess and obsolete stock; and providing online marketplace services that facilitate the trade of components on one platform.

BHP looking at Australia-wide deployment of Supply Innovation program, Udd says

Following the successful introduction of a Supply Innovation program in Chile, BHP is now piloting this same platform at its Olympic Dam copper-gold-uranium mine in South Australia, Rag Udd, VP Technology Global Transformation at BHP, told delegates at the AustMine 2019 conference in Brisbane, Australia, this week.

Speaking at the packed event – reported to have broken past attendance records – Udd said BHP was looking to local suppliers to “solve challenges and, in turn, stimulate innovation” and could potentially expand the use of this platform throughout Australia.

He said the company needed to work differently to achieve its new procurement goals, which included “removing barriers to doing business with us”.

Udd pointed to the company’s Supply Innovation program, which originated in Chile, as evidence of the company’s progress in this space.

“This program has seen us create an open platform to connect our unique mining challenges with local suppliers and innovators,” he told delegates.

Rather than ask for a specific service or equipment – as has often been the way in the past – the platform enables suppliers to bring their innovations to the mining major, he said.

It was this platform that led to BHP introducing a new Trommel Maintenance Robot at its majority-owned Escondida copper operation, in Chile. Developed collaboratively by FLSmidth and local Chilean supplier MIRS, the robotic arm has benefits for safety and productivity, according to BHP.

Udd said the company is now piloting this program at Olympic Dam, with a view to establishing the platform on a national basis.

Metso expands Latin America offering with HighService Service

Metso has completed its acquisition of HighService Service, the service division of the Chilean mining engineering, construction and technology company HighService Corp, adding around 1,000 employees to its expanding Latin America operations.

The acquisition was announced in January and was approved by the Chilean competition authority in March.

Mikko Keto, President of Metso’s Minerals Services and Pumps business areas, said: “This acquisition expands our service offering in the Chilean and Pacific Rim mining markets and supports Metso’s growth strategy. It brings us more service experts to support our customers in the region and we are happy to welcome our new colleagues to Metso.”

Just a few weeks ago, Metso was awarded a contract to supply crushing and material handling equipment for the first stage of Codelco’s El Teniente copper mine expansion project in central Chile.

HighService Service offers its customers a variety of services from maintenance to commissioning and remote monitoring. Its circa-1,000 employees are in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Its sales in the fiscal year 2017 were €60 million ($66.2 million).