With several vehicles, the machine manufacturer GHH Vehicles GmbH, Gelsenkirchen/Germany, now also supports the world’s largest copper producer Codelco, which is currently managing a mega-project in the Atacama desert – turning a giant mine upside down. Meanwhile, other utility vehicles went to India, Kazhakstan and Russia, including the newly developed emulsion charger BEC100.
Codelco estimates its annual copper production at around 1.7 M t. The Chilean mine operator is also the second largest molybdenum producer. Codelco recently stated that it has a world market share of 9 % for each of these two raw materials. The state-owned company now operates seven mines and four smelters. With 385,000 t/a of copper ore to date, the Chuquicamata mine has the second largest share, just behind El Teniente. It is thus one of the largest in the world.
An ambitious transformation is currently taking place there. The mining goes from surface to underground. The site is thus being turned upside down, so to speak. The project started in 2019 and should be completed by 2023. With a slightly reduced production rate of 315 kt/a, the deposit is not expected to reach its limits until 2057.
A project of this type and size is rare in the industry. This is not least due to the installed 7 km long conveyor belt, which covers an elevation distance of 1 km from the extraction site to the earth’s surface. There, a 6 km long conveyor belt then runs again to the interim storage facility.
This is where GHH comes into play. The manufacturer of machines for mining and tunnelling provides Codelco as a launch customer with its newly developed HG16 maintenance vehicle (Figure 1). The first vehicle was recently shipped, three more will follow. The HG16 will be used to maintain the powerful conveyor belt. During the development process Codelco’s requirements were taken into account – a real plus for other customers who will benefit from it.
The HG16 is a four-wheeled crossover conveyor belt maintenance vehicle equipped with loading platform, working platform and loading crane. The crane lifts almost 1 t. The working platform, which can be extended to a length of 4.5 m, can be slewed through 95°, thus covering a large working area. The four-wheel drive vehicle weighs 9.35 t and measures 6,750 x 2,400 x 3,100 mm (LxWxH). It is driven by a 4.4 l four-cylinder diesel engine with 85 kW output. It complies with the EU Stage 3A/US EPA Tier 3 emissions standards. The enclosed cabin for two persons is certified for underground use in accordance with ROPS and FOPS Level 2. The operator’s seat can be swivelled through 180°.
The German machine builder must have done some things right, as Codelco had previously acquired a GHH branded BVK-05 articulated crane truck manufactured in Turkey. In general, the utility program is currently developing magnificently. Parallel to Codelco, other newly developed vehicles were delivered to India, Kazhakstan and Russia. Among them the IS-26 concrete spraying machine, the new BKPT7 material transporter and the new articulated emulsion charger truck BEC100 with 17.5 t operating weight, which will be used in a gold mine in the Amur region. Here, too, GHH has incorporated the customer’s requirements to a large extent.
GHH Fahrzeuge GmbH