Skip Links
Chuquicamata Underground

Chuquicamata Underground Mine

Transforming the world's largest open-pit mine

Codelco | Chile | 2009–2021

100-year-old

open-pit copper mine, the world's largest

Block-caving

underground method

140,000 tpd

ore production

97%

emissions reduction

Challenges

  • The Chuquicamata underground mine will allow Codelco to exploit the remaining resources located below the current ore deposit until 2058.
  • The project will transition one of the world’s largest open-pit mines into an underground mine, one of the largest, most efficient, and advanced in the world.
  • The new mine is expected to begin operations in 2019, with a 7-year ramp-up and a nominal production of 140,000 tonnes per day (tpd).

Solutions

  • Undertake the feasibility study and basic engineering to transition the open-pit mine to a large underground mine.
  • Execute the liaison engineering that supported Codelco during the fund-approval process needed to implement the second phase of the project.
  • Accurately estimate capital cost within 10–15% by integrating various disciplines.
  • Provide detailed engineering for the mine works, the design of the mine communication systems, the facilities' civil works, and the overland conveyor platforms.
  • Integrate the detailed engineering that addresses the battery limits, the different designs provided by other parties for common spaces of cohabitation, and develop the technical specifications for future contracts.

Highlights

  • One of its largest-ever, this structural and strategic project will allow Codelco to exploit the remaining resources under the current deposit until year 2058.
  • Ore reserves of nearly 1760 million tonnes of copper and molybdenum have been quantified for the underground mine, representing more than 60% of the amount exploited from the mine in the last 90 years.
  • The Chuquicamata underground mine will be designed with the highest safety standards in the mining industry worldwide.

“Hatch has been an important ally during the previous stages and we are hoping that they remain with us with the same professionalism and dedication contributing to the success of this project for the following years.”

German Flores | Project Manager, Codelco VP

Project numbers

US$4.3 billion CAPEX
1000-metre-deep shaft
181 kilometres of tunnels during construction stage
1760 million ore tonnes of copper and molybdenum
0.712 copper ore grading
502 ppm molybdenum grading

Commodities, services, & technologies

Copper

Engineering

Mining

Systems, control, & automation



What's your challenge?