Minas de Aguas Tenidas S.A. U. ("MATSA") is a wholly owned Spanish subsidiary of Iberian Minerals Corp., a public Swiss company. The Aguas Tenidas Mine is 100% owned by MATSA. The expected mine life is 11 years, with deposits for exploitation until 2020 and mineral production of 2.2 Mt /year. MATSA 2.031.044 tons of ores in 2011, therefore 1.160.978t copper and 870.066t polymetallic.
The majority of the reserve base comes from a mine plan in which longhole-open-stoping is the primary mining method. The stope layout is dominated by a 20m-wide transverse panel system that extends over the strike length of the deposit. Levels are established at 30m vertical intervals, and on each level a haulage gallery, spaced at about 50m from the ore zones, provides access to a set of perpendicular crosscuts onto each stope panel. After primary stopes are mined out, they are backfilled with cemented pastefill. Secondary stopes later on will be filled with lower strength paste fill or waste rock. The development infrastructure for the mine is dominated by a primary haulage ramp that connects the mine with a portal very close to the processing plant location at the western end of the mine property. A service ramp provides alternative access to the mine at the eastern end.
There are 900 employees working in the mine; 450 of them being MATSA employees and the rest subcontractors like INSERSA. INSERSA is carrying out some of the drilling, earth removal and concrete spraying in various galleries in the Aguas Teñidas Mine. There is another project in planning phase to start in 2013, 35 km away from Aguas Teñidas Mine (Sotiel Project), with an estimated amount of mineral production 1 Mt / year.
INSERSA is the Spanish market leader in the field "drilling for mining" and has achieved a high degree of diversification in recent years by applying its specialized expertise to a wide range of activities, e.g. special foundation and drilling operations or building construction work. In the Aguas Teñidas Mine, besides the older concrete spraying machines WETKRET WKM 103 and SPM 407, INSERSA is working with an SPM 4210 WETKRET to provide roof support of the excavated sections after blasting, and has recently incorporated Putzmeister’s new low-profile concrete mixer for mining, Mixkret 4.
MIXKRET 4 has been designed to complement the concrete spraying process in mining. It provides a concrete transport capacity of 4 m3 and includes a liquid additive tank for transporting and transferring additives to the shotcrete equipment. The machine is equipped with a 6-cylinder, 130 kW (176 HP) turbo engine, which provides it with high climbing and moving power as well as the possibility to work at high altitudes. The cabin, mounted in machine direction, and the night-vision camera at the rear, facilitate its maneuvering and ensure visibility conditions at all times, increasing safety. Its compact design and state-of-the-art axles, both used for steering and driving (4WD and 4WS), provide excellent mobility and maneuverability in narrow galleries and tunnels. The machine has hydrostatic transmission with a stepless variable gear motor, which ensures an ideal torque:speed ratio. Furthermore, the Mixkret 4 features an automatic speed control system for moving down slopes fully loaded at the maximum secure speed.
The SPM 4210 WETKRET concrete spraying system features a reinforced spraying arm, providing a vertical spraying reach of 10 m. The maximum concrete output of the Putzmeister double-piston pump mounted on the equipment is 20m3/h. The proportional remote control, which can be operated both by cable and wireless, allows the easy operation of the spraying arm as well as the regulation of the concrete output and the adjustment of the pre-defined additive dosage. With state-of-the-art axles and a reinforced articulated turning system, the SPM 4210 WEKTRET series is disigned for the rough working conditions in mining.