Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is delivering its AutoMine® Fleet system to automate a new fleet of Sandvik loaders at Codelco’s Pacifico Superior and Pilar Norte GTI, which are part of the El Teniente mine in Chile. This partnership supports Codelco’s vision to create one of the most sophisticated mines in the world.

AutoMine® Fleet is a highly advanced automation system for a fleet of Sandvik underground loaders and trucks sharing the same automated production area. It provides automatic mission control and automatic traffic management for the equipment fleet, while system operators remotely supervise the process.

The system will enable Codelco to operate its new fleet of Sandvik LH517i and Sandvik LH621i loaders autonomously at the El Teniente mine, one of the world’s largest underground copper mines. The project implementation started in December 2020 and is expected to be completed by mid-2021.

Codelco’s objective is to dramatically increase the productivity, safety and efficiency of its operations with AutoMine® and this project is a continuation of Codelco’s 10-year strategic program to prolong the life of its existing mines.

Sandvik and Codelco started their automation journey together at El Teniente with the first-ever AutoMine® Loading system installation in 2004. The AutoMine® system is already in operation at Diablo Regimiento and Panel 2, the other two blocks of the El Teniente mine.

“Being able to use mining automation technology that is well proven as well as working with a supplier that understands our needs and is capable of adapting to our operating philosophy are key drivers for Codelco’s operations,” says Juan Mariscal, Senior Business Manager, Codelco. “That is why we have chosen our long-term partner Sandvik to go on this journey with us. Above all, Sandvik’s enhanced local presence and expertise will ensure successful implementation of these projects and strong support.”

Codelco is the number one copper producer in the world and is owned by the state of Chile. It controls about 19% of the world’s copper reserves and is also the second-biggest producer of molybdenum worldwide.

“We are proud to continue supporting Codelco on its automation and digitalization journey at El Teniente mine, making its operations smarter, safer, more productive and sustainable through digitalization,” says Riku Pulli, President, Rock Drills and Technologies Division, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions.