Mining integration reaches new heights in the Andes

Chapter 1: Stabilising the unstable with Jigsaw

Author: Neville Judd, October 2016 

Toquepala is more of a city than a mining camp. ‘Home’ to 2,000 people in the Peruvian Andes, the mine offers almost everything you might need, including an elementary school, a high school, hospital, supermarkets – even a golf course complete with 19th hole.

The mine run by Grupo Mexico is also setting new standards when it comes to integration and optimisation. Toquepala is the fifth largest copper mine in the world, measuring 2.5 kilometres across and descending more than 700 meters into the Earth. Last year, the mine won approval for a $1.2-billion expansion of the pit, which will double the mine’s processing capacity.

Stabilising the unstable with Jigsaw

To prepare for expansion amid tough economic times, Grupo Mexico decided to integrate Toquepala’s operations and planning technologies. The company selected Hexagon Mining as a partner in this strategy, knowing that by aligning systems, it would be better positioned to weather volatile commodity prices.

We are constantly working to improve, integrate and optimise our processes for mining operations, utilising key technologies,” said Enrique Sanchez, Grupo México senior technical adviser. “For many years we have relied on Hexagon Mining’s Jigsaw system for fleet management with much satisfaction.

“Grupo Mexico has invested over US $2 million in modernising our processes and our operations and teams. For example, in the past we would transfer materials to the crusher via train or trucks, but today we leverage a system of conveyors and tunnels with more than 2 kilometres in distance, which sends materials directly to the crusher in this case.”

“The purchase of equipment and technologies leveraging Jigsaw systems has been especially important in Toquepala, where in the past few months we have installed Jigsaw systems with much success.” Grupo Mexico is also a long-time user of MineSight, Hexagon Mining’s mine planning software suite. Toquepala’s mine planners use MineSight Economic Planner to determine economic pit limits, incremental pit shells, and preliminary pushback creation. They use MineSight Schedule Optimizer for short-term, mid-term and long-term planning.

“MineSight systems help us optimise our production for maximum gains that correspond to the overall value of the mine. Hexagon Mining’s state-of-the-art technology is critical to our strategy. The idea is to have a single system for monitoring in standardisation of the automatic cycles, as well as the dynamic systems for increased optimisation of production.

“Hexagon’s integrated mining solutions allow us to greatly improve our efficiency by shortening the gap between planning and execution.”

Explore next chapter: Honouring change

Story: Mining integration reaches new heights in the andes
Chapter 1: Stabilising the unstable with Jigsaw
Chapter 2: Honouring change

Reporter 76

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