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Size reduction systems for handling large rocks in mining operations


Deadline 18/06/2020

Closing Time

Solutions are sought to reduce (break, split, crack) the size of the rocks in the loading face, to improve their haulage and subsequent crushing.

Solutions are sought to reduce (break, split, crack) the size of the rocks in the loading face, to improve their haulage and subsequent crushing. This solution must comply with the following requirements:
• It must be compatible with the HSE standards and operational conditions of the mine.
• Minimize or eliminate the operational interference.
• Minimize or eliminate the workforce.

Operation and processes involved
Escondida Mine – Mine Operations Area – Blasting, loading, and haulage operations.

Current situation
In material loading operations carried out on production benches, particularly in the sector of expansion failure zone PL1, there is a significant presence of preformed blocks that do not decrease in size during production blasting and must be removed for not to delay load and haulage operations. This material, whose blocks are larger tan 4 cubic meters, require rockbreaker equipment for their reduction and additional transitory storage areas.

The problems related to the presence of large rocks are: risk for workers and equipment, operational interference, decreased productivity of the loading equipment, reduction of the truck load factor and additional tasks (material rework) that increase the operational expenditures.

Problem occurrence
The problem ocurrs when massive fault zones must be exploited and later, in the process of development, drilling and blasting, where it is not posible to obtain a fragmentation according to the operation, as a result of the preformed fracture.

The preformed blocks generated by the blasting process are being reduced by rockbreakers (excavator with hammer) and conical type surface explosive.

Tested technologies
There is no record of the use of new technologies


Challenge page

Supply Innovation BHP

aims to promote the development of projects between the Company and the Suppliers with an associative approach, where the design and construction of the solution for the “Challenge” detected by an area of the Operation is addressed jointly. In this way, the generated projects develop solutions that add value to the Company and the suppliers build capacities and competencies that translate in more and better business opportunities.

Expande program

The Open Innovation in Mining Program, Expande, is a public-private initiative designed and carried out by Fundación Chile. The purpose is to drive innovation and make possible a better future for global mining, promoting the mining ecosystem in Chile along with building a collaborative model that enables the best solutions for the high complexity challenges of mining today and tomorrow.