Posted by Paul Moore on May 24th, 2021
After it was announced that Anglo American’s Quellaveco copper project in Peru has received the first of a fleet of 30 297-tonne class 794 AC Caterpillar autonomous trucks, the first units will also arrive at the Quebrada Blanca 2 (QB2) copper project from Teck in Chile in a picture shared by Luis Eduardo Melendez Herrera, AHS Systems Implementation Leader for autonomous trucks at QB2. The autonomy project for Quebrada Blanca 2 was awarded to Finning in May 2019 together with Caterpillar to enable the operation of 28 new autonomous 794 AC electric vehicles.
QB2 is located in the Tarapacá region in northern Chile at an altitude of 4,400 m, approximately 240 km southeast of the city of Iquique and 1,500 km from Santiago. Roberto Mosqueira, Manager of Mining Applications and Autonomy of Extraction of South America, said at the time: “With Caterpillar’s technology for autonomous trucks, we ensure that our customer works continuously without problems in extreme altitude conditions and without interruptions and that the operators are no longer exposed to adverse conditions for the eight months that winter extends in these highlands. and at risk for their safety. “
On April 28, 2021, Teck stated in his Q1 report on QB2: “The overall project progress has exceeded half– –Waypoint in April. A key focus remains on management COVID– –19 and the extensive protocols used to protect the health and safety of our employees, including proactive screening of the entire workforce. The situation is actively managed to keep the electricity going Workforce level and allow further ramp– –as quickly as possible. First production is expected in the second half of 2022. “
The supergene ore body (near-surface deposit) was mined during the initial phase of Quebrada Blanca. QB2 will develop the deeper sulphide resource underlying the existing operation. As a result, QB2 is effectively pre-stripped, which significantly reduces project costs. It has an initial lifespan of 28 years but will still only consume 25% of total reserves and resources. The maximum pit depth is 720 m for the processing of copper ore, including crushing, grinding, floating, thickening and filtering in a new concentrator plant with a production capacity of 140,000 t per day.