An important milestone was recently achieved by Codelco’s Andina Division, when it began transporting ore through the Trapaso
(Transfer) project. The $1.3 billion project will extend the life of this mining complex, located in Chile’s central zone, by 30 years.
Located 3,500 meters (m) above sea level in the middle of the Andes, the new Mine-Plant Transfer system would reduce the amount of equipment used for crushing and ore transportation to 15 from 50.
“By doing this, we reduce people’s exposure to risk and improve operations and maintenance,” Codelco Andina’s General Manager Rodrigo Barrera said.
The Traspaso Andina project stands out for the innovation and sustainability of its processes, by integrating as part of its infrastructure a 52-m-high dome that, in addition to protecting the new primary crusher from low winter temperatures, considerably mitigates the emission of particulate matter into the environment, according to the company.
In addition, the use of a regenerative conveyor system, which has been extended 4 kilometers (km), will generate more than 3.6 megawatts (MW) of power for the mine.
It took eight years to construct this project, which occupies 44 hectares in a complex high-altitude, geographic area, where temperatures in winter can easily reach -20°C.
“This was a multidisciplinary team and it approached each of these stages with the utmost professionalism,” Barrera said.
The startup of this project considers a ramp-up stage of at least four months, which will systematically increase capacity.