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Road construction alternatives in tailings dumps for machinery transit


Deadline 21/12/2020

Closing Time

Challenge description

At Minera Antucoya, leached tailings are disposed of in dumps, which contain a high level of humidity and an abundant presence of fines. Due to the above, the transit of equipment and installation of infrastructure on the heaps is complex. The low resistance of the ground and the weight of the equipment generate ground sinking (Spreader System).

Currently, an activity has been incorporated to improve the mechanical stability of the dump in specific areas, by removing material from the dump, replacing it with sterile material from the mine, with higher granulometry and without humidity. This, along the footprints of the equipment and infrastructure that are reinstalled in each transfer (Shifting).

This road construction activity requires a high amount of resources and time for its execution. Today it is executed with traditional machinery.

Challenge scope

It is required to perform the same activity in a shorter time using NON-traditional mining equipment (excavators, rollers, trucks, etc) to speed up the road construction process or alternative construction methods :

Some information about the dimensions of these roads are;

Road for the Conveyor: Length-> 2500m, Width-> 3.6m, Height-> 0.5m

Road for the Tripper: Length-> 5000m, Width-> 3.0m, Height-> 2.1m

Road for the Spreader: Length-> 5000m, Width-> 5.0m, Height-> 2.1m


Background – Previous experience

The current solution requires a lot of time to implement, therefore also high cost.

Expected benefits

  • Decrease the execution time of the change of terrain properties
  • Greater operational continuity
  • Maintain load-bearing capacity


Key performance indicators

  • Maintain load-bearing capacity
  • Progress in road construction (building materials)
  • Execution time of the construction (days of construction)
  • Costs (US$/m)

Area of interest

1.- Automation and robotization in specific stages of the production process

2.- Improve productivity through management in critical processes


Responsible management

  • Operations Management
  • Cathode Plant

Procesos involucrados




Additional information: