Codelco, the operator of the underground copper mine El Teniente in Chile, commissioned Geobrugg to provide dynamic steel wire mesh to stabilize the mine tunnels. El Teniente spans more than 3,000 km of underground tunnels. This underground mine, which has the largest known copper deposits in the world, employs almost 5,000 people. In addition to solutions protecting against natural hazards, Geobrugg also provides safety solutions for underground mining with this dynamic mesh. After years of testing it has proven it’s capability for the under-
ground mining sector. It is marketed under the brand name -MINAX®, and sets entirely new standards for providing cost-effective safety.
Two major developments which can be observed in the mining industry worldwide put the high-tensile and dynamic steel mesh of Geobrugg more and more into the limelight. These developments are the relentless efforts to increase safety in the mines and the need to exploit the ores in deeper and therefore more demanding levels.
There were crucial factors that led Codelco to choose the Geobrugg mesh in their New Mine Level (NML) program:
- dynamic surface support by high-tensile steel wire mesh (Figure 1);
- safe and faster automated installation (Figure 2).
Made of high-tensile, corrosion-resistant steel wire, this dynamic mesh is the only one suitable for underground surface support and challenging geological conditions prevalent in these tunnels. Automated installation provides both an efficient realization and a great degree of safety since miners are not required to be co-located in the danger area during installation.
Geobrugg has five global production facilities and over 50 worldwide branch locations allowing delivery of different gauge versions of MINAX® wire mesh in large quantities and with short notice. All mesh exhibit extraordinary strength; and to ensure a long service life Geobrugg analyzes the environmental conditions of the mines and treats the MINAX® wire mesh with the required corrosion protection. Hence, the use of MINAX® in the El Teniente mine not only represents a milestone in Geobrugg‘s product development, but also great progress for the mining sector with regard to safety and profitability.
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