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Technological solutions to delimit the safety zone at the edge of the El Teniente Mine crater


Deadline 23/12/2020

Closing Time

Codelco’s El Teniente Mine mainly uses the Panel Caving underground mining method, which generates a 12 km perimeter crater on the surface, in constant development and growth. On the surface, this represents a risk for people, animals or equipment near the crater, so having technology to monitor and restrict access to the area will reduce the potential for accidents.


Objective and scope:

To identify accessible and economically feasible technological solutions that allow to delimit the safety zone of the edge of the crater of the El Teniente Mine. These solutions are expected to facilitate access control and/or detect and alert the presence of people, animals or equipment, in real time and remotely.


Solution requirements:

The proposed technological solution must consider the following requirements:

  • Resistance to high mountain weather and environmental conditions such as snow, rain, wind, humidity and high and low temperature oscillations.
  • Robust design and prepared for demanding operational conditions such as impacts, particulate material, etc.
  • Easy installation and uninstallation that allows mobility and geographical displacement, depending on the growth of the subsidence.
  • Autonomy in the energy source. The use of solar, wind or similar energy is desirable. Maintenance-free (or low maintenance).
  • In the case of monitoring and/or alert solutions, information delivery should be online and in real time.
  • High operational availability.
  • Low investment.
  • Comply with the security standards of Codelco El Teniente Division.

Excluded solutions:

Consultancies and engineering studies will not be considered in the evaluation process.



Although physical barriers have been implemented to restrict access to the El Teniente Mine crater rim safety zone, the possibility of unauthorized entry exists.



  • Risk to people’s safety.
  • Risk in operational continuity.


Problem occurrence

The possibility of access to the safety zone is permanent. Due to ignorance, unauthorized entry of third parties into private property.


Current solution

The safety zone is delimited with the disposition of drums located every 50 meters. This barrier does not allow restricting the entrance of people or equipment.


Attempted solutions

No technological attempts for a solution have been carried out to date


Reference images:

  1. Cavity
  2. Crater border
  3. Crater information