El Teniente Copper Mine - New Access tunnels


Codelco (Corporación Nacional del Cobre) Chile/ Codelco VP (Vice Presidencia de Proyectos)

Cost of works:

USD 394 million

Period of Activity:

2009 - 2015

The New Mine Level project is being planned to extend the life of El Teniente (by 60 years), the largest underground copper mine in the world. A significant component of the New Mine Level Project is the construction of the access tunnels (two main tunnels and two adits, for a total length of more than 23 kilometers), which began in March 2012.

— Project Description:

The two main tunnels and the two adits are excavated with Conventional method: a) The Conveyor Tunnel, 9.3m in width and 8847m in length with maximum overburden of 1150m; b) The Personnel Access Tunnel, 8.3m in width and 8835m in length with maximum overburden of 1000m; c) Adit P500, 6.5m in width and 2753m in length, with maximum overburden of 600m, reaches the main tunnels at approximately one third of their length; d) Adit P4600, 6.5m in width and 3025m in length with maximum overburden of 1015m ‒ and a gradient of - 12.54% ‒ reaches the main tunnels at approximately two thirds of their length.

— Description of Services:

1. Risk-Analysis Driven Design (2009). The project of the access tunnels is fully integrated with risk analysis, involving: identification of the geological/geomechanical hazards; primary risk assessment and identification of the mitigation measures; probabilistic estimate of the constructions times and costs. 2. Assistance to Codelco during tender phase (2010-2011). Analysis and comparison of technical and economic proposals, including Probabilistic estimate of time and cost. 3. On-site technical assistance (staff of 15 personnel) during the construction phase (2012-2015) including participation to the international Expert Board.

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