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Rock falls containment system in open pit mine

Faena: Andina Division

Deadline 09/01/2023

Closing Time 4:00 pm

The development of the open-pit mine requires a series of tasks to be carried out close to the slope. Due to natural events such as thawing, induced vibration events such as blasting or equipment operation, landslides are usually generated from the walls of the benchs, which can potentially reach people and / or equipment located in their vicinity.

Technological solutions are sought to contain rock falls and protect people and equipment (drilling rigs, explosives loaders, support pick ups, among others) that operate or travel near the mine bench wall. Solutions must be mobile considering the dynamic nature of mine development. The scouting process could lead to the identification and selection of suppliers for a competitive sourcing or purchasing process, whose scope will be defined according to the degree of maturity of the proposals that apply to the open innovation process, which could lead to a pilot validation test, or to an implementation if they are relevant and meet the evaluation and selection criteria defined by Codelco.

  • Resistance to the impact of rocks with an average density of 2.7 g/cm3 and sizes up to 40 cm in diameter, in free fall from the face of the bench and upper benches (maximum 96 m in height).
  • Protective cover for people and equipment with a minimum area of 18 m x 12 m (length x height).
  • Ease of movement and relocation of the solution to provide permanent protection for people and equipment. The use of auxiliary equipment (bulldozers, wheeldozers, boom trucks, handlers, pick ups, among others) for pulling, pushing or dragging will be considered.
  • Quick and easy installation and removal. Foldable or mechanic type systems are desirable, but not exclusive.
  • Technical support of impact resistance through calculation memories and/or engineering studies.
  • Compliance with Codelco’s safety, occupational health and operational risk management standards.

Drilling and blast hole loading operations require the presence of personnel and equipment inside the pit, exposing them to high energy impacts due to rock falls from higher levels.

  • High potential incidents due to exposure of personnel and equipment to falling rocks.
  • Operational interferences.

Occasionally and unforeseen.

  • Cleaning of loose material on upper benches.
  • Delimitation of safety zones.
  • Adjustment in mine design, widening berms.

No mobile protection technologies have been attempted.

The following will not be considered in the background evaluation process:

  • Solutions oriented to the fortification or containment of material in mining slopes, such as: shotcrete systems, bolts, meshes, etc.
  • Solutions oriented to the monitoring or detection of rock falls, e.g.: radar, LiDAR, geophones, etc.
  • Advisories, consultancies or engineering studies

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