The recent arrival of two Komatsu P&H 4100XPC electric rope shovels at Capstone Copper’s Mantoverde operation in Chile is significantly reducing waiting time for haul trucks at the open-pit mine, the company says in its latest sustainability report.
These large buckets – two of four that the company committed to purchasing in 2022 – are able to move approximately 4,000 t/h of material per hour, and require not only operators in the cab, but also personnel to move the medium-voltage (7.2 kV) cables that supply power to the shovels, to accommodate the needs of the shovel operators.
The nominal payload of the P&H 4100 XPC is 108.9 t, making it ideal for loading 218 t to 363 t haul trucks and high capacity (8,000 t/h-plus) in-pit crusher-conveyor systems, Komatsu says.
Jamie Figueroa, an experienced operator with both diesel and electric shovels, said: “The electric shovel makes our jobs much more productive. It makes much less noise than a diesel shovel and has no emissions. It is a win-win on all fronts.”
Last year, Mantoverde received 13 Komatsu 830E haul trucks as part of its Mantoverde Development Project (MVDP). These trucks come with a 230-t capacity and are powered by a Cummins QSK60 diesel engine. Mantoverde also uses a conveyor system to stack and remove ore for heap leaching, reducing its truck haulage needs.
The MVDP is expected to enable the company to process 235 Mt of copper sulphide reserves over a 20-year expected mine life, in addition to the operation’s existing oxide reserves. It involves the addition of a sulphide concentrator (12.3 Mt/y) and tailings storage facility, and the expansion of the existing desalination plant. This is expected to see production at Mantoverde increase from around 49,000 t of copper (cathodes only) in 2021 to approximately 120,000 t of copper (copper concentrate and cathodes) post project completion in 2024. The mine will also benefit from the production of approximately 31,000 oz/y of gold.