CIPTEMIN, Integrated Mining Technology Pilot Center conducted its first industrial scale piloting in the region

In the technology’s demonstration, a new system for blasting in open pit mining was tested, manufactured by the Chilean company Enaex S.A.

The Center has been operating since 2017 and is co-financed by Corfo, in partnership with other private and academic institutions.

In December, the first piloting of the Integrated Mining Technology Pilot Center (CIPTEMIN) of the Antofagasta Region was carried out, an organization that aims to pilot and validate innovations and technologies for the mining industry, in a real setting and on an industrial scale, accelerating the technological development of suppliers and promoting more efficient, competitive and sustainable mining for the future.

This milestone, carried out at the Doña Elba mine belonging to the Las Cenizas Mining Group – Taltal commune, consisted on testing a new system for blasting in open pit mining. This technology that is being developed by the Chilean company Enaex S.A., aims to revolutionize the explosives and blasting industry. The most prominent benefit of this new technology is the increase in productivity by 10 to 30 percent.

For the demonstration execution, extensive previous work was carried out in the field for the conditioning and qualification of the space on site, in addition to the development of all the piloting protocols that allowed the correct execution of the demonstration on an industrial scale.

The Executive Director of Ciptemin, Cynthia Torres Godoy, said that “Taltal was the first pilot of a technology that we support as a Center, where the company Enaex had a test space on an industrial scale, in this case in a mine of the La Cenizas Mining Group».

For his part, the director of Corfo Antofagasta, Luis Alberto Gaete, states that “Ciptemin comes to resolve an important gap in the development of innovations in the mining industry, which corresponds to the difficulty that our businessmen, and entrepreneurs have in testing under real conditions, in test sites that contain the main mining extraction operations, as well as the conditions”. In addition, he added that «this first pilot is an important milestone that validates Ciptemin’s collaborative model in the Antofagasta region that implies the synergy of the industry and research centers.»

The primary function of the Integrated Mining Technologies Pilot Center (CIPTEMIN) is to be a manager and an accelerator of technological innovation, in order to articulate and facilitate solutions between the needs and problems in the processes of the mining industry.

The pilot center has spaces that allow piloting the technology that needs to be validated as a potential solution for the mining industry, according to international procedures and standards. «We have test spaces at different scales, and in the case of the industrial scale thanks to the commitment in the technological development of the Las Cenizas Mining Group,» Torres added.

Mining technology tests generate a benefit for both the supplier and the company. Regarding that, the director of CIPTEMIN said that “the fact of having a stage of validation at a scale prior to the final commercialization of the technology, will facilitate its adoption by the end user since it will have previous evidence of its functionality and benefits for its process «The important thing is that potential suppliers of new technologies for the industry turn to CIPTEMIN to assess whether it applies to a pilot and validation phase,» he added.

Regarding the segment of medium-sized mining, Torres said it is very important that the new technologies that are incorporated, to modify some activities in the production processes of both mine and plant, have the appropriate level of maturity and thus have a good probability of success. «In technological innovation and its practical application to production processes, we will find the answers to make mining more efficient and sustainable,» he said.