Atlas Copco has secured a contract to deliver several large-range Pit Viper rotary blasthole drills to Chilean mining firm Minera Los Pelambres.
Under the deal, Atlas Copco’s drilling solutions division will deliver four large blasthole drills for copper mining at Minera’s Los Pelambres mine, which is operated by Antofagasta Minerals.
Feasibility studies to expand Los Pelambres were initiated in 2011 and finalised in 2013.
The studies confirmed that the mine’s fleet should be modernised to increase productivity and utilise new technologies offered by the Pit Viper series.
Los Pelambres mine drilling and blasting superintendent José Las Heras said the company is confident about the productivity of Atlas Copco’s equipment, as well as its progress in technology that has been demonstrated from the start of the operation.
Las Heras added that Atlas Copco offers electric and diesel versions within the large blasthole line.
"With regard to the latter, we are very pleased and we tested its versatility and mobility within the pit," Heras said.
In addition to the four blasthole drills, Minera Los Pelambres uses Atlas Copco’s two Pit Viper 351 electrics and three Pit Viper 351 diesel rigs.
Atlas Copco said that the new drills will be installed with its rig control system, which is a computerised and automated rock drilling software tool.
The Los Pelambres mine is located in the north-central area of Chile, in the Coquimbo Region and has estimated reserves of 4.9 billion tonnes of ore, grading 0.65% copper.