Codelco Chile’s Andina Division conducts tailings from the high mountain range to its Ovejería tailings dam through channels whose layout considers the passage through three tunnels of almost 23 km in length. As this infrastructure is strategic for the operational continuity of the division, it is inspected daily by specialized personnel in order to detect substandard operating conditions, structural damage in the channel and geomechanical instability of tunnels in time, which allows the adoption of corrective measures to avoid operational incidents.
Technological solutions are sought that allow online inspections in real time of the structural condition of the tailings transport channel inside tunnels 1 and 2:
-Structural condition of tailings transport channel inside tunnels 1 and 2 (total length 20 km app).
-Geomechanical stability of tunnels 1 and 2.
These inspections should allow the timely detection of substandard conditions such as: overflow, structural damage in channels, leaks, presence of loose material on roof and walls, state of fortification, among others
The proposed technological solution must take into consideration the following aspects and comply with the requirements indicated below:
-The concrete channels are covered with concrete slabs and, on top of them, an HDPE plate (detail in annex N°1).
-For data transmission purposes, fiber optics are available in the sector to facilitate real-time monitoring.
-Environment with presence of humidity and particulate matter.
-Minimal interference in tunnel due to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
-The system must operate in complete absence of people inside the tunnel.
-On-line and real-time monitoring.
-Data analysis to enable real-time alarms to be issued in the event that substandard conditions are identified.
The tailings transport system, specifically that installed inside tunnels, requires permanent inspection by personnel, which means having discreet and sporadic information available, given the long distances to be covered and the complex traffic conditions, which make it difficult to cover the entire route in a single working day.
Sudden damage can generate operational incidents with consequences on the environment, risk to people and impact on operational continuity.
Visual inspection by trained personnel.
No technologies have been attempted.
The following will not be considered in the background evaluation process:
-Advisory, consulting or engineering studies.
-Solutions that consider the use or transit through the channel or through the vehicular roadway.