ERLAU TPC supplies 40 sets of traction chains to Barrick’ world-class gold/ silver/ copper project – high in the Southern Andes and the World’s first cross-border mine.

High on the Southern Andes’ watershed, South of Atevama (Chile) Barrick Gold is constructing Pascua Lama – a world-class, open-pit gold/silver/copper mine.

First mooted in 1997, apart from gaining agreement of the Argentinian and Chilean governments, Barrick had to satisfy the concerns of several non-governmental organisations and environmental groups over this cross-border project.

With first ore production set for Q1 2013, infrastructure development including a 170km, 220kV power line, an access road, and a conveyor tunnel connecting the Chilean mine with the Argentinian processing plant, is well advanced.

Barrick’s USD 3.6bn investment includes a substantial Komatsu earthmoving fleet which is currently stripping gravel, sand, silt and clay scree, cutting benches and stockpiling initial crusher feed.

Fronting the line-up are three, 1165kW, Komatsu WA1200 articulated, wheel loaders with a breakout force of 126,000 kg capable of lifting 20 m3 in a single pass.

The WA 1200s serve a 24-strong relay of 211cu mtr, Komatsu 930 dump trucks

Keeping haul roads clear are twelve, 280hp, Komatsu GD 825 motor graders and managing stockpiles are two, 637 kW Komatsu WD 900 wheeled bulldozers.

At an altitude of 5,200m, the Pascua Lam climate is sub-arid, sub-polar. Extreme cold and altitude sickness can adversely affect mine operations.

Iced haul roads can give large wheeled machines ‘a mind of their own’ – exhausting operators and increasing the possibility of damage to valuable plant and personal.

Furthermore, the abrasive quartz-bearing Andesite can considerably shorten tyre life, increasing load and haul costs.

Just as Barrick has put its confidence in world-renown contractors such as Fluor, and Redpath, and invested in top-notch, the responsibility for tyre protection and traction chains has been delegated to ERLAU TPC.

The 55.5/80-57 68PR tires of the WA1200s have been fitted with ERLAU TPC’s 23mm FELS GRANIT PLUS tyre chains and the rest of the fleet have the benefit of ERLAU TPC’s GARANT TERRAPLUS with links ranging in size from 11mm to 22mm.

The 930 dumptrucks’ 53/80 R63 tires and the WD900 bulldozers’ 45/65 R45XLDD (L4) tires have ERLAU TPC GARANT TERRAPLUS X22 and the GD 825 graders’ 23.5 X 25-12PR (L3) tires have GARANT TERRAPLUS X16 links.

Support trucks and cable handlers are fitted with either GARANT TERRAPLUS X11 or GARANT TERRAPLUS X16.

FELS GRANIT PLUS is ERLAU TPC’s badge name for their strong, hard-wearing, long-lasting steel alloy links developed to improve traction, absorb abrasion and double and, sometimes, treble tyre life.

The X22 is Ideal for the punishing crowd and load cycles of giant WA1200s, Cat988s and LeTourneau 1100 loaders working with quartz-bearing and other aggressive ores.

GARANT TERRAPLUS is selected from a range of traction chains with applications in forestry, military and mineral winning. The superior grip provided by this recent addition to the ERLAU TPC portfolio makes TERRAPLUS ideal for soft ground and iced over haul roads. Even with 22mm option, the open-meshed, six pointed, star configuration of the TERRAPLUS forms a light-weight, energy-saving chain with deep-toothed ground engaging links which give your trucks that essential ‘bite’.

In all, ERLAU TPC has supplied more than 40 sets of chains to Pascua Lama.

Also in Chile, ERLAU TPC recently supplied Codelco with a further 40 sets of traction chains to enable the large 400 tonne haul fleet to keep trucking, sure-footed, over iced-up roads.

With nearly 70 years’ development experience, ERLAU TPC offers protection and traction chains to suit any application including, mining, quarrying, demolition, scrap and slag handling.

At 2010 end, Pascua-Lama’s contains an estimated 17.8m troy.oz gold, 671m.oz silver, significant amounts of copper and high levels of arsenic and mercury. Planned annual production is 4,800t copper, 35m.oz silver, and 750k.oz gold.

From the beginning, only the best contractors, plant, equipment, services and people has been good enough for Barrick – highly respected names combining to bring Pasua Lama to production, on time, safely and within budget.

Alongside Barrick’s core suppliers, ERLAU TPC provides life-of-product support.

With its only non-European plant based in Brazil and supported by major suppliers in Chile and Argentina, ERLAU TPC has a strong commitment to South America.