DSI Chile demonstrates Advantages of Resin Rock Bolt Systems in Chilean Copper Mine
The S.C. Minera Atacama Kozan copper mine is located approx. 15km south-east of the town of Copiapó in northern Chile. The owners, a joint venture consisting of Nittetsu Mining Co Ltd., a Japanese firm, and Inversiones Errazuriz Ltd., a Chilean company, have been mining copper at this location since 1998.
The extraction is carried out using the sub-level stoping method. In this method, the ore inside a vein is extracted vertically from an open stope in a series of sublevel drifts using drilling and blasting. After extraction, the ore is processed in a150,000t per month capacity finishing plant . The final product, copper concentrate, is mainly exported to Japan, but also sold on the Chilean domestic market. In co-operation with the mine engineers, DSI Chile carried out a series of tests in order to define possible areas of application of polyester resins for the rock bolts used in the mine. At the moment, the mine is using grout for injecting the anchor systems.
The test series, which was carried out in February 2013 in different parts of the mine, clearly demonstrated the advantages of the polyester resins supplied to the mine operator by DSI Chile:
- Significant time saving when using resin in comparison to grout
- Shorter curing times and therefore faster achievement of rock bolt load bearing capacities
- Less time spent by the miner in the dangerous installation zone
- Automated installation process
- Improved profitability resulting from the use of the resin anchor system
The mine operator was convinced of the definite advantages of the system and is therefore investigating a changeover to resin anchors. DSI Chile is looking forward to supporting the mine with efficient resin anchor systems in the future.