The Greenest Bulk Operations: A Chilean Port Revolution



RAM Spreaders


Codelco, the largest copper producing company in the world has revolutionised the mining logistics of copper concentrate. It has re-engineered bulk handling, using a completely sealed zero material loss system from the mine to the hatch of the ship at Puerto Angamos in Mejillones, Chile.

The traditional method of bulk exporting of copper concentrate uses trucking, warehousing and ship loading conveyor systems, all of which result in small material loss. To complement its operations, Codelco started from the beginning and designed whole new system that completely encloses the material from the pit to the hatch of the ship.


The new process, engineered with the support of equipment suppliers, encloses the expensive copper concentrate in a sealed container. The equipment, specially designed for the project in cooperation with suppliers uses some innovative new ideas. The copper concentrate is sealed in a purposely designed box with a lockable lid. Once in place at the mine, the only time the lid is removed is by the lid lifted on the revolving spreader prior to rotation at the bottom of the ships hatch.

During the tipping process, the hatch is sealed with the final piece of clever design, with a hatch based dust suppression system catching any rising dust. The traditional method of bulk export involves multiple transfer points, from truck to train, to warehouse then by conveyor to a bulk loader into a ship’s hold. At each of these transfer points material is lost…

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