Sandvik, Codelco continue automation, digitalisation journey

Mining OEM Sandvik and state-owned Chilean miner Codelco strengthen their digitalisation partnership with a new automation system installation at the El Teniente underground copper mine
Sandvik, Codelco continue automation, digitalisation journey Sandvik, Codelco continue automation, digitalisation journey Sandvik, Codelco continue automation, digitalisation journey Sandvik, Codelco continue automation, digitalisation journey Sandvik, Codelco continue automation, digitalisation journey

Sandvik TH663i with AutoMine trucking installed

This is not the first time the two companies have collaborated around automation technology. In fact, Sandvik's very first AutoMine loading system was installed at El Teniente back in 2004.

The latest agreement also comes on the heels of Sandvik announcing the delivery of AutoMine and OptiMine solutions to Codelco's Chuquicamata mine, which is transforming from a an open-pit to an underground operation.

Now, Sandvik said its AutoMine fleet system will form the first step in implementing a fully automated mining solution at El Teniente, with the OEM's underground trucks.

Codelco is already using the OptiMine suite of digital optimisation tools at the mine.

The AutoMine product family adds options for all levels of automation, from remote operation to full automation.

Rafael Guzman, chief engineer for automation and technology at El Teniente, said: "As a state-owned mining company, it is our responsibility to implement technology and solutions that ensure the safety of our people and the sustainability of our mines."

As part of this ‘green' copper initiative, the miner has also introduced the first hybrid loader to the El Teniente fleet. The Komatsu load-haul-dump machine has started operating 100% on electricity, using diesel only to generate electrical power. Codelco is now planning to expand its electric fleet further.

Earlier this year, Sandvik completed the acquisition of battery-electric vehicle manufacturer Artisan Vehicle Systems to boost its offering in the electrification space. This creates another area in which the OEM and miner could potentially join forces.

"We are proud that Codelco continues to choose Sandvik as a strategic partner for its most innovative projects," said Patricio Apablaza, vice president for Andean and South Cone, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, referencing the latest automation partnership.

"Our technology will drive even safer, smarter and more productive mining for Codelco."