TAKRAF announced that it has achieved an important milestone on a refurbishment contract to put a TAKRAF Bucket-Wheel Reclaimer into service again after it was moved from a sister operation. The TAKRAF BWR will meet the increased reclaiming capacity requirement as a result of a major investment to overcome declining ore grades and increase production, thereby ensuring operational continuity at this flagship copper operation. Installation of the boom into the superstructure of the TAKRAF BWR 7100 was completed in November 2020, with this refurbishment project commencing following the award of an EPC contract in September 2019. The machine is to be put into operation in early 2021 after remaining works and commissioning are completed.
As part of the contract, TAKRAF also provided support and technical assistance in moving the machine over a distance of approximately 170 km from where it was in operation until May 2018.
The copper mine is located in Chile's Antofagasta region. The mine was commissioned in the late 2000s, with its reclaiming capacity requirements being successfully met to date by another TAKRAF BWR, model HR 5000. However, with the increased production, a higher capacity machine was required to meet the increased reclaiming requirement.
TAKRAF has been involved in the project since inception. This commenced with a 2015 comparative study to establish the feasibility of employing the BWR at the current operation, through to a basic engineering study to identify the required system modifications and, in 2019, the award of the complete EPC contract to refurbish the machine for operation at optimal productivity.