As part of its strategy to tackle climate change, Antofagasta Minerals has added 50 pick-up trucks and eight fully electric mining equipment to Centinela’s fleet. They will be deployed in the Esperanza Sur pit, where an autonomous haulage fleet and drilling systems already operate.
Antofagasta Minerals has an ambitious environmental goal: to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with the company already achieving its goal to reduce its total direct and indirect greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions by 30%, with this target met three years ahead of schedule in 2022.
The Centinela operation has been at the forefront of helping the Group to achieve its goals. Since early 2022, it is contracted to receive all of its electricity from renewable sources and, since the beginning of this year, it also now operates solely with seawater. Furthermore, Centinela has a solar powered plant that allows it to partially heat solutions that are used in the cathode production process. In July 2021, Centinela obtained The Copper Mark, a seal for the responsible production of copper.
On 15 June, Centinela unveiled a new fleet of electric vehicles, consisting of 50 pick-up trucks and eight pieces of ancillary mining equipment for the Esperanza Sur pit. Together, they will contribute to a reduction of more than 5,500 tonnes of GHG emissions per year.
This project ranks Antofagasta Minerals as the mining company with the largest fleet of electric vehicles in Chile.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRODUCING RESPONSIBLY
This initiative is part of Antofagasta Minerals’ climate change strategy, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, an objective that is in line with the goals set by Chile in accordance with its international commitments.
“At Antofagasta Minerals, we take on the challenge of climate change not only with the conviction that we are providing the copper needed to boost low-carbon technologies, but also with the belief that we cannot produce this mineral in just any old way. We have to do it in a way that is responsible with our development, ensuring environmental sustainability, and that allows us to continue contributing to the country’s well-being,” said Carlos Espinoza, Centinela’s general manager.
Local authorities also participated in the inaugural ceremony on 15 June. Karen Behrens, the presidential delegate for the Antofagasta region of Chile, highlighted that “initiatives like this are an important step towards a new horizon for the mining industry, around clean energy, reduced continental water use and, above all, major milestones like this that ensure a path towards electromobility.”
“We would like to congratulate Centinela for this tremendous achievement, which we believe fits in with the work we are doing as a Regional Government regarding the construction of the Regional Mining Strategy, both with Antofagasta Minerals and with other important companies in the area,” said Ruth Rodríguez, head of the Regional Government’s Development and Industry Division.
THIS IS THE NEW FLEET
Centinela’s new electric pick-up trucks are Voltera R6 models (manufactured by the Chinese company Dongfeng), which have a range of 403 kilometres and are capable of carrying up to 900 kilos. The R6 is a model that was especially tested for the mining sector, under real working conditions and at high altitudes, with excellent results.
The ancillary mining equipment also deployed at the same time — from China’s XCMG (Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group)— comprising of the following: one truck with a 20m3 load capacity, with seven effective working hours per one hour of charging; two front loaders of 3.2m3 bucket capacity, with seven effective hours of work per one hour of charging, and five excavators of 1.4m3 bucket capacity, with four effective working hours per three hours of charging.
AT THE FOREFRONT
Adopting pioneering technologies and initiatives is a key part of Antofagasta Mineral’s climate change strategy. At Centinela, the autonomy project is pioneering for the current generation of this technology in the copper industry. Centinela has invested approximately $57 million developing its autonomous systems, which have increased worker safety and improved the company’s competitiveness (equipment availability) and life of components (e.g. tyres, spare parts).
All these initiatives are part of Antofagasta Mineral’s digital roadmap, which covers all areas of innovation, and will contribute to the overall competitiveness of the company.
General Manager Carlos Espinoza presenting at the inauguration ceremony in June 2023.
Company and government representatives unveiled the Company’s latest decarbonisation initiative together.