Chile-focused copper miner Sociedad Punta del Cobre S.A (Pucobre) has selected Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions to supply a fleet of six Toro™ LH621i autonomous loaders equipped with AutoMine® Multi-Lite for its mining operations in northern Chile’s Atacama region, the OEM says.
Pucobre is among Chile’s largest underground copper miners, producing approximately 38,000 t/y of fine copper from its three mines near the northern city of Copiapó.
“We’re consistently exploring and implementing technologies that can enhance safety and productivity in our mines,” Sebastian Rios, Chief Executive Officer at Pucobre, said. “We have an ambitious goal to automate 75% of our stope operations, and this is a major milestone in that journey.”
Sandvik will supply the order in two phases. During 2023, Pucobre will receive four Toro LH621i loaders and the remaining two in 2024.
“We are pleased to support Pucobre in improving the safety, productivity and reliability of its mine operations with the deployment of our autonomous loaders,” Ricardo Pachon, Vice President, Sales South Cone and Andean at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, said. “We look forward to working with Pucobre as it continues on its automation journey.”
Toro LH621i loaders feature a 21-t payload capacity. The loaders’ reliability, robust structure and Sandvik Intelligent Control System enable the use of highly advanced digital solutions, such as AutoMine. The Toro LH621i offers superior hydraulic power for fast bucket filling and drivetrain power for high ramp speeds and can quickly clear tunnel headings for rapid advance rates, according to Sandvik. Long-life components, specifically developed for the rough underground environment, contribute to low cost per tonne.
The AutoMine Multi-Lite system is a highly advanced automation system that enables system operators to remotely and simultaneously supervise multiple automated Sandvik underground loaders and trucks. It provides a powerful way to take advantage of the full machine performance, and helps improve productivity, safety and cost efficiency in underground mining operations, according to the company.