Sandvik reported it will deliver advanced mining solutions to Codelco’s Chuquicamata mine in Chile, creating one of the most efficient and advanced underground mines in the world. Codelco is converting Chuquicamata from open cast to an underground mine as part of a 10-year strategic project to prolong its existing mines. Operations are due to start in 2019.

Sandvik will deliver a production automation system based on its AutoMine and OptiMine products. The system will allow Codelco to operate its new fleet of Sandvik LH621 loaders in full automation. The open system integrates manual operations and autonomous equipment into one powerful solution, enabling full transparency and real-time control over the parallel production and mine development activities.

“Using our mines to full effect is part of our focus on sustainability and a key driver for our business,” said Andrés Avendaño, operations manager, Chuqui Underground. “Automation and optimization are critical to getting the most from our mines and keeping our people safe while we do it.”

Sandvik and Codelco started their automation journeys together with the first-ever AutoMine Loading system installation at Codelco’s El Teniente copper mine in 2004.

“Codelco has been an important partner for us from the beginning,” said Riku Pulli, vice president, automation, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology. “It’s fantastic to continue the partnership as our visions are well aligned. We look forward to working with Codelco to deliver even smarter, safer, more productive mining through digitalization.”