Construction ventilation design and commissioning sequence for 2017 in the Chuquicamata Underground Mine Project

Author(s): R.Alvarez, E. Acuña, Y.S. Martín
5th International Seminar on Geology for the Mining Industry


Chuquicamata open pit, one of the largest in the world, is transitioning to one of the largest underground copper mines, comparable to El Teniente, Chile. Currently, surface production is diminishing and systems are been installed for the underground operation, in particular the main fans that will support most of the development for the upcoming years. The Chuquicamata Underground Mine Project considers different construction packages for the development, which requires a number of fans and airflow circuits. As part of the detailed engineering phase, an updated study of the number of fans, location, their operational points and their commissioning in a timely fashion was developed for the first two quarters of 2016. This paper presents the study developed to validate the fan commissioning timelines could deliver the development ventilation requirements within the energy constraints in place for the construction period. The study considers the design of multiple periods with different airflow volumes capacities, and a comparison with the implemented ventilation system considering fan operational point, efficiency and energy consumption. A discussion of the results obtained is also presented.