BASE METALS

Codelco completes Andina Transfer project

Chile’s state copper company Codelco has inaugerated the Andina Transfer project at its Andina division, one of the company’s structural projects to ensure the working life of the asset for at least 30 years.

 The Andina Transfer opening ceremony at Codelco's Andinna operation in Chile

The Andina Transfer opening ceremony at Codelco's Andinna operation in Chile

In a ceremony to open the US$1.3 billion project, attended by president Sebastian Piñera, Codelco executive president Juan Benavides said, "beneath our feet and at an altitude of 3,500m, in this imposing Aconcagua Valley, is one of the largest and highest-grade copper deposits in the world, which contains 30% of our country's copper reserves."

Construction of the project took eight years and it features a 52m-high dome which protects the primary crusher from freezing winter temperatures, and into which trucks will drive to discharge their loads, while also impeding particulate contamination of the environment.

The transfer system includes a 4km conveyer system which uses a regenerative energy system that will generate some 3.6MW for the operation, allowing the division to reduce external energy consumption.

"Andina has had the maturity to adapt to the new demands of civil society with a project that will impose ambitious environmental standards and more efficient processes in the use of resources," said Benavides.

The project will allow Andina to exploit some 900 million tonnes of ore grading 0.7% copper.

Andina represents about 10% of Codelco's production and produces around 184,000 tonnes per year of red metal.

Codelco has other structural projects underway at its other divisions.

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