The spectacular now
The world’s largest copper miner, Codelco, will soon start using robotic machinery at its Minera Gaby division in Chile’s copper-rich Antofagasta region.
Robots at Minera Gaby will inspect equipment prior to their scheduled maintenance, which is expected to reduce service time and minimize oversight. This latest innovation is in addition to fully automated haul trucks used at the mine. With ageing mines to manage, Codelco has been using a wide range of new technologies to increase efficiencies, including harnessing extremophiles, microorganisms that help extract copper from sulphide ore. The company is also in the midst of a 5.4 billion-US-dollar expansion project of its El Teniente mine, the world’s biggest underground copper mine, which would extend its production life by 50 years. At the new mine, all mining, processing and transport activities will be fully automated and controlled remotely from the corporate building in the city of Rancagua, 50 kilometres from the mine site.