Driving improvement in survey

Maptek I-Site has helped Codelco Chile El Salvador Division with efficient survey processes to improve the metallurgical balance for their operations.

El Salvador Division mine is located in the Atacama Region of Chile, nearly 2,600 metres above sea level. This operation is in charge of the Inca underground mine, and the open pit Campamento Antiguo and Damiana Norte mines.

El Salvador develops open pit mine processes and underground mining, and operates a hydro-metallurgy and concentrator plant, smelter, refinery and port.

Metallurgical balance

The term ‘balance’ in mineral processing encompasses all the technical and economic calculations made to evaluate the process of concentration by flotation.

Having all this information available at any time is essential for making accurate projections and effective decisions.

The balance is prepared and verified from the production data of the different mine divisions. This becomes the basis for the subsequent accounting processes of the El Salvador division.

Activities that should be controlled include process flows, sampling equipment, weighing equipment, statistical analysis of rules, and inventories.

Monitoring the metallurgical balance which is evaluated in the ore extraction cycle is made possible by controlling the volume of movements of materials processed and discarded.

Properly managing mine tailings and minimising their impact on the environment has become one of the main challenges in mining today.

The objective is to collect better information and therefore gain better control of the metallurgical balance. Maptek I-Site technology provides a solution. The I-Site XR3 laser scanner captures detailed topographic survey information.

Efficient survey

I-Site systems improve the effective management of tailings dams, enhancing safety and productivity, ensuring operational control and environmental compliance.

A simple, efficient process streamlines the survey team workflow, increasing productivity and improving the mining business.

The implementation of I-Site Drive allows continuous acquisition of scan data with an I-Site laser scanner mounted on a site vehicle.

Mining operations can perform efficient surveys of stockpiles, slopes and haul roads, reducing surveying time by more than 50%.

The continuous monitoring system optimises survey time and controls slopes that may present a risk to the mining operation, increasing safety when accessing difficult areas.

Static surveys can be conducted without additional setup, and scanning while the vehicle is in motion captures data continuously. Large-scale surveys can be completed in a short time, with results delivered quickly to the operations.

Thanks to
Luis Cortés C., Mining Engineer
Codelco Chile − División El Salvador