Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to: Latest news headlines Analytical topics and features Commodities videos, podcast & blogs Sample market prices & data Special reports Subscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.

  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber (, Please navigate to Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list

Chuquicamata underground copper mine to begin production in 2019: Codelco exec


Canada’s crude oil competitiveness in question as Parliament considers key legislation

Metals | Non-Ferrous | Steel

Platts Market Data - Metals

Commodities | Electric Power | Metals

Battery Metals Conference, Inaugural

Metals | Steel

Miner Anglo American plans to replace Brazil 4 km iron ore pipeline section, completion in Q4

Chuquicamata underground copper mine to begin production in 2019: Codelco exec

Santiago — Work to develop a large underground operation at the Chuquicamata copper mine in northern Chile is on track for production to begin in 2019, a manager at state-owned copper company Codelco said Tuesday.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Speaking at the MinSub underground mining conference in Santiago, Francisco Carrasco, strategic planning manager for the Chuquicamata underground project, said that despite some initially difficulties in building the necessary tunnels and shafts, progress was on track.

Tunnel builders are now just 15 meters from completing the 900 meter deep extraction shaft.

Transport, air injection and access tunnels are now either complete or near completion, meaning that mass construction of the network of tunnels can continue without interrupting operations at the Chuquicamata open pit, one of the world's largest copper mines.

Article Continues below...

The mine will eventually consists of 143 km of tunnels and 19 km of conveyor belts with the capacity to haul 150,000 mt/day of crushed rock 900 meters up to the surface.

"By the time it is finished it will be the world's largest electromechanical system," Carrasco said.

Codelco is converting Chuquicamata into an underground mine at a cost of $4 billion as the century-old pit is too deep and ore grades too low to continue operating.

However, once the underground mine is in production it will take several years to ramp up to its capacity production of 367,000 mt/year of copper.

--Tom Azzopardi,
--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh,