April 24, 2019 / 8:08 PM / 4 months ago

First hybrid dump truck to cart copper at Codelco's El Teniente mine in Chile

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Codelco's El Teniente copper mine, the world's largest underground copper mine is shown on a vehicle near Machali, Chile, April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder

EL TENIENTE MINE, Chile (Reuters) - The world’s top copper miner Codelco has added its first hybrid dumptruck to its fleet at its El Teniente mine, the company said on Wednesday, in a global mining industry that is increasingly seeking to reduce its emissions and environmental footprint.

The so-called Load-Haul-Dump truck, known as an LHD, built by Japanese equipment manufacturer Komatsu, is expected to boost productivity by 10 percent to 20 percent, Codelco said, while reducing emissions by upward of 25 percent.

“This will permit us to boost productivity, improve work conditions underground and reduce costs, especially in terms of ventilation,” said Octavio Araneda, a vice president of operations for Codelco.

Codelco is undergoing a 10-year, $40 billion overhaul of its aging mines, including efficiency upgrades to boost productivity and lower costs.

The executive told Reuters the truck was getting a trial run at the mine, and that the company would later evaluate the possibility of a more complete overhaul of its fleet.

Several major miners operating in Chile, the world’s top producer of copper, are seeking to reduce carbon emissions and their use of water as supply chains come under scrutiny globally.

Last month, miner Anglo American installed a floating island of solar panels in a tailings pond associated with its flagship Los Bronces mine outside Santiago, in a bid to boost efficiency and use of space near the metropolitan area.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Dave Sherwood; editing by Grant McCool

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