The Quellaveco Project: Copper Extraction in one of the World’s largest Mining Areas
One of the world’s largest copper deposits is located approximately 37km north-east of the town of Moquegua in southern Peru. The deposit includes estimated reserves of 1.1 billion tons of copper ore.
Anglo American is currently carrying out a new feasibility study thanks to which the planned copper extraction capacities in Quellaveco Mine could be increased by 20% to 270,000t of copper per year.
Although the main construction work for this development has been postponed to 2015, some work has already been carried out. The Asana River, which currently crosses the mining field, will be retained by a 40m high dam and then diverted into a tunnel.
The diversion tunnel project consists of the main, 7.8km long water tunnel with a 1.2km long access tunnel and a 4km long conveyor tunnel.
Slope stabilization in the portal areas has been accomplished using the DSI Hollow Bar System, mesh, and shotcrete. For slope stabilization in this area, DSI Peru supplied a total of 508 3m long diameter T76 DSI Hollow Bars as well as 461 4m long diameter T76 DSI Hollow Bars. In addition, DSI supplied 875 couplers and 513 Ø 200mm button drill bits.
The main method used for the first part of the tunnel excavation was drill and blast. The ground support scheme consists of lattice girders, mesh, rock bolts, and reinforced shotcrete. For the second part of the tunnel that will be built, DSI Peru will presumably also supply forepoling systems that are required for driving through the expected fault zones.