Telescopic Technology Revolutionizes South American Mining Operation

April 23, 2009

Thor Global recently developed an innovative material handling system for a large heap leaching operation in Chile’s Atacama Desert, delivering both a fully customized system and cost-effective simplicity.


The project involved the design of fifteen new machines, which now function as an efficient integrated system for the copper extracting process:

Telescopic Stacker (T160x36-770 MTPH)
Bridge Conveyor (BC123x36-770 MTPH)
High Reach Transfer Conveyor (PPTC80x36-770 MTPH)
Portable Transfer Conveyors (TC36x105-770 MTPH) (12)

The operation demanded equipment tailored to the particular conditions of the site. All machines were equipped with high flotation tires – distributing weight over a larger area to prevent damage to the embedded membrane system located just below grade. Due to the harsh environment and exposure to leaching sulfuric acid, each machine was designed for increased life span, sandblasted to meet SP10 standards for optimum paint adhesion and coated with thicker paint coverage. Wear items such as receiving, transfer and discharge chutes were fitted with AR 400 lining.

The Bridge Conveyor houses an enclosed, climate-controlled command station providing an unobstructed view of the surrounding site. The improved vantage allows for enhanced safety, operational control and uninterrupted visual or electronic monitoring of all machinery and staff (via integrated PLC and HMI).

During the collection process, the Telescopic Stacker (equipped with a wireless remote) forms a large, continuous and uniform pile of raw material – 12 lanes of heap-leaching matter, each an impressive 450M long by 95M wide (1543’ by 320’). Thor Global’s telescopic technology dramatically reduces dependence on trucks and loaders and minimizes the need to move equipment frequently.

This heap leaching operation now functions with maximum efficiency. Thor Global has responded to the complex demands of the mining process with a system that functions seamlessly and minimizes reconfiguration down time – cost-effective simplicity for extensive material handling operations.