Like many mine sites located in geographically harsh and climate sensitive landscapes, Codelco’s Andina site in Chile is faced with a myriad of challenges – poor visibility; high altitude (4km above sea level); large cliff faces; steep drops; minus 25-degrees Celsius winter weather; slippery, icy surfaces; and annual blizzards, which close the mine until it is safe for employees to return.
Codelco was confronted by the outcomes of a risk assessment which determined that either autonomous or at the very least, teleremote controlled mining had to be implemented.
This was a perfect opportunity for ICT Companies (RCT and Hexagon Mining) to collaborate and form a solution. Through this ground-breaking partnership, a customised solution to help Codelco meet operating requirements – to create a safer environment for employees and considerably reduce shutdown time from extreme weather – was achieved by building trust, leveraging skills and co-operating to achieve a successful outcome.
Both ICT Companies were confident their core systems could be engineered together to produce a solution to satisfy Codelco’s expectations.
RCT’s ATX2200 (teleremote controlled system) and RCT’s Muirhead® Speed Limiter were combined with Hexagon Mining’s Jmineops Geofencing functionality and Hexagon Mining’s SAFEmine CAS and TrackingRadar collision avoidance and object detection systems. These mining technologies were integrated and installed onto a Komatsu WD600 wheel dozer.
For this pilot project, Codelco requested the system solution be fitted in to an older dozer, and this challenge proved that the technology is able to adapt its solutions to any situation or machine.
The simplicity of using the teleremote system has been highly praised; the easy transition from actually physically driving the machine, to operating it from a safe cabin; feeling safe at work and not having to endure the sometimes strong Chilean weather, is priceless for the operators.