IM Mining reported that Komatsu-Cummins in Chile has announced a record daily productivity achievement for large mining rope shovels. At the KGHM-55% owned Sierra Gorda SCM copper mine, an electric shovel of model P&H 4100XPC AC that was first delivered in 2015, managed to load 230,400 t of material (waste and ore) in 24 hours, reaching unique productivity levels among deposits of similar characteristics. The Komatsu-Cummins joint venture was formed in 1999 and is the distributor for both Komatsu and Cummins in Chile. The P&H 4100XPC AC-90 has a nominal payload of 73 to 82 t (80 to 90 st), dipper capacity of 42 to 49 m3 and is described as ideal for loading 218 to 327 t haul trucks.
Sierra Gorda is in the Atacama desert in the Antofagasta region, approximately 60 km south-west of the city of Calama. The mine’s end products are copper concentrate and molybdenum concentrate. The Sierra Gorda mine produced over 135,000 t of payable copper from January to November 2020, up from under 100,000 t for the same period in 2019, due to higher metal content in the extracted ore and to a higher volume of ore processed. For the full year 2020 the figure was expected to be well over 150,000 t of payable copper though the full year production results have not yet been released.
KGHM recently stated that for the first time in its history, the Sierra Gorda plant has significantly increased its production capacity. It is close to a strategic goal set only three years ago: achieving a minimum annual average daily ore processing figure of 130,000 t. Two years ago it was processing only 110,000 t/d.