Sandvik has received a $17 million order from the Chilean national copper company, Codelco, to supply an AutoMine Fleet automation system and six autonomous loaders, for use in the Recursos Norte operations at the El Teniente mine in Chile.

“We have already started the automation journey,” said Rodrigo Andrades, mine manager at the El Teniente Underground Mine. “We have a major challenge to transform our operations into a fully autonomous mine in the next few years, and our main goal is to enhance our workers’ quality of life, improve our safety standards and to take our productivity processes to the next level.”

The new order will be supplied in two phases. During 2023, Codelco will receive six Toro LH514 loaders, as well as an AutoMine Fleet system capable of being scaled to support up to 13 machines and AutoMine production area hardware for future expansions over several years. Toro LH514 loaders belong to Sandvik’s mid-size offering with a 14-metric-ton payload capacity. The loaders’ reliability, robust structure and Sandvik Intelligent Control System enable the use of highly advanced digital solutions, such as AutoMine.

The first phase of the order, which also includes support contracts for equipment maintenance, AutoMine lifecycle services and software licensing, will be used by Codelco Recursos Norte in a new block caving area in El Teniente. As a key productivity partner, Sandvik will support Codelco in its shift towards automated mining operations and increasing its workforce knowledge on these technologies.

The second phase of the order will be delivered from 2024 through 2027, in which Sandvik will provide seven more Toro LH514s and an expansion for the AutoMine Fleet system. After delivery, Codelco will have more than 40 autonomous Sandvik trucks and loaders in operation at El Teniente.