"Cochilco’s list of investments for Chilean mining shows a portfolio of 51 projects with the potential to be executed between now and 2030 for US$69 billion, but this will require collaboration between all actors in the industry, because the demands of communities and the environment are growing continuously."
What would you say have been the main milestones achieved and challenges faced by Metso Outotec in 2021 and 2022 in South America?
In 2020 the merger of Metso and Outotec took place, a process that consolidated the company after two years as one of the main mining suppliers in the world, with solutions in the entire mineral processing line. We brought the best of both companies; one focused on crushing and the other with the best technologies in flotation. This has made Metso Outotec the reference point for the industry.
In the region we have seen growth of 15% to 20% business volume, despite challenges such as Covid, supply chain delays, and now the Ukrainian situation. In the case of mining, technology-based remote services permeated processing plants like never before due to the demands of social distancing, and the accumulated experience of our specialists and level of innovation that Metso Outotec has helped us navigate a difficult period and come out stronger as an organization.
Can you provide details of the in-pit crush and convey solutions (IPCC) order Metso Outotec won for Codelco’s Radomiro Tomic mine?
At the Radomiro Tomic Óxidos project, Codelco seeks to give continuity to the open-pit mining operation through the exploitation of its sulfide and oxide reserves, operating its SX/EW leaching plant until 2030. To keep the mine operating in oxide extraction during this decade pending the completion of the sulfide project, it is necessary to access reserves that are below or near the current facilities. This is where Metso Outotec will play a crucial role, supplying Codelco with an EPS project that includes the installation of an 11,000 t/h semi-mobile crushing station with a state-of-the-art rotary primary crusher, a Superior MK III 60110, next to the pit mine while it is in production.
The solution also includes an Apron Feeder discharge, an intermediate transfer belt, electrical rooms, dust suppression systems, field assistance service and the extension of the overland sulfide belt by 530 meters. It is also important to highlight that the crushing station is part of Metso Outotec's Planet Positive sustainable solutions, since its operation will mean a reduction of more than 30% in CO2 emissions at the project.
Can you tell us about Metso Outotec’s data-analytics Performance Center in Santiago?
We have an integrated operations center in Santiago called the Performance Center. At the Center, data is collected in real time from the DCS or PLC systems, flowing to Metso Outotec Metrics, a platform that processes the information using AI algorithms. With this, we create dashboards for online monitoring. Our experts then analyze data in order to make recommendations for decision making and improving the productivity of plant equipment.
Can you explain how Metso Outotec can help clients achieve more sustainable operations?
For example, we have semi-mobile and mobile primary crushing plants in operation that reduce the distance to transport minerals by truck and allow minerals to be moved on conveyor belts with much greater energy efficiency.
Another relevant issue is the quality and durability of equipment and its ability to be repaired or updated. In our portfolio we have recyclable, durable and environmentally efficient equipment that can be repaired to have optimal operating quality instead of being totally replaced; extending the life cycle of equipment reduces the manufacturing of new equipment, which translates into a lower environmental impact.
Can you outline Metso Outotec’s vision for Chile’s mining sector in the years ahead?
We are confident that Chile’s rich mining tradition will continue in the decades ahead. On a global level, metals and minerals such as copper and lithium are becoming even more important due to their role in electromobility and the energy transition, and Chile has a key role to play in this transition.
Cochilco’s list of investments for Chilean mining shows a portfolio of 51 projects with the potential to be executed between now and 2030 for US$69 billion, but this will require collaboration between all actors in the industry, because the demands of communities and the environment are growing continuously. Metso Outotec is committed to supporting this with our team of more than 4,000 people in South America, and we plan to install more infrastructure in the region in the years to come.