Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions says it has received a major order for the AutoMine® load and haul automation system valued at about SEK 250 million ($28 million) from Chile’s Codelco to be used in the El Teniente mine.
In addition, a connected load and haul equipment order, with an initial value of SEK 150 million, was received, bringing the total value of the orders to SEK 400 million, Sandvik said.
The contract will run from 2022 through 2027 at the Andes Norte block cave.
Since the first AutoMine system was commissioned in El Teniente’s Pipa Norte mine in 2004, Sandvik has supplied several intelligent load and haul equipment fleets as well as AutoMine and OptiMine solutions to Codelco mines.
The new order will be supplied in two phases. During 2022 and 2023, Codelco will receive two Toro™ TH663i trucks and two Sandvik LH514 loaders, as well as an AutoMine Fleet system capable of being scaled to support up to 16 machines and AutoMine production area hardware for future expansions over several years.
The first phase of the order, which also includes support contracts for the equipment and AutoMine system, will initially be used by Codelco Andes Norte in a new block caving area in El Teniente that is expected to commence production between mid-2022 and early 2023.
From 2023 through 2027, Sandvik will deliver six more Toro TH663i trucks, six Sandvik LH514 loaders and an additional AutoMine Fleet system.
Emilio Vega, Business Line Manager for Automation, Sales Area Andean & South Cone at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “Codelco selected Sandvik’s solutions based on our proven technology, capable of fulfilling requirements for safety, reliability and productivity. Furthermore, we have competent staff capable of serving and supporting the organisation’s existing systems. This provides value-added services that enable optimised productivity in order to meet the customer’s production performance.”
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 a single machine or multiple machines, including full fleet automation with automatic mission and traffic control capability, according to Sandvik.
Patricio Apablaza, Vice President Sales South Cone & Andean at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, added: “Codelco’s objective is to continue implementing automation and digitalisation solutions in its mining operations. We have a great opportunity, as a key supplier, to be part of this change by supporting Codelco with high-end technology and providing key support to its operations to help our customer succeed in this journey.”
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, as well as a wide range of interfaces for infrastructure integration to allow for complex automation applications in challenging environments.
Pablo Gandara, Project Portfolio Manager, El Teniente Mine, explained: “For Codelco and, in particular, for El Teniente mine, it is a goal to continue being the largest underground mine in the world. This purpose also needs to be accompanied by other attributes that are key today to continue being leaders in the mining business, such as safety, environmental sustainability, and productivity.
“Considering all these elements, we have come to the conclusion that to operate our mines we require companies that have the same values, and that is how we came to define that the Sandvik AutoMine product satisfies all our needs. In addition to show best practice of a real partnership is the cooperation that began many years ago between Codelco and Sandvik in the first automated project for El Teniente, which was the Pipa Norte sector in 2004. From there we have built a relationship between two companies, we understand each other very well, and we trust in the joint capacities that we have developed.”
David Hallett, Vice President, Automation at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said: “We are excited to continue our journey in automation and digitalisation at Codelco’s El Teniente mine to help increase safety and productivity for their operations. This order will be delivered as a turnkey solution composed of all elements of Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ offering for equipment, digital technologies and aftermarket. Sandvik strives to be the number one productivity partner for our customers and this order and delivery will embody all elements of this.”
Back in February 2021, Sandvik said it would deliver its AutoMine Fleet system to automate a new fleet of Sandvik LHDs running at Codelco’s Pacifico Superior and Pilar Norte GTI operations, part of the El Teniente underground mine.