Antofagasta, in its 2018 financial results, has promoted its innovation focus, saying it is critical to creating long-term value and being “a key enabler of safe, sustainable competitiveness and growth”.
One of the ways the company is seeking innovative solutions is through the increased use of data and technology, which it calls “the digitalisation of operations”.
Antofagasta said it is investing significantly in this area, which has an implementation budget of $40 million, to strengthen its technological platform, including critical operating systems and connectivity.
The company has also applied advanced data analytics at its processing plants to better understand and improve their performance.
In the meantime, it said work was underway on the design of a Remote Centre that will allow integrated operations management at its Centinela operation in Chile. Service provider Wood is currently preparing a prefeasibility study for this technologically-advanced integrated operations centre, which includes cloud data storage and information management for its operations, easily accessible from anywhere in the world.
Antofagasta continued: “It’s not just at the operating level that there are benefits of improved data.
“Los Pelambres constantly monitors its tailings deposits and, as part of the Programa Tranque project, expects to start releasing the monitoring results online early next year. This will provide the community with real time information, helping to build trust between ourselves and our neighbours,” the company said.
Programa Tranque contemplates the development of an online monitoring system of tailing deposits to transmit, process and broadcast, in a user-friendly way, updated physical and chemical indicators of the deposits.
It incorporates the best available technologies and innovative mechanisms for the measurement of critical parameters and variables, as well as an information management platform to communicate information to authorities, mining companies, and the community, allowing an early warning system to be activated ahead of potential emergency situations.
In addition to Antofagasta, BHP and Codelco are partnering on this five-year programme that seeks to position Chile as the leading country in information transparency related to the performance of its tailing deposits.