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Breakthrough in Chile – success in South America

El Teniente

The El Teniente copper mine, reported to be the world’s largest underground copper mine, is located south of Santiago and produces over 400,000 tons of copper per year. In 2011, this division selected us to develop the conceptual engineering of its entire portfolio of industrial projects. After successfully completing these services, we began performing the engineering services for the optimisation of water recovery from the mine tailings area. We were also awarded the detailed engineering contract for upgrades at the Caletones copper smelter, which include a dual copper anode casting wheel and the design of the management system for the capture and handling of pyrometallurgical gases from the one of the converter furnaces of the smelter.

"The scale of CODELCO’s operations is truly breathtaking. We are delighted to have developed a strong working relationship with CODELCO and we look forward to building upon this relationship by delivering world-class HSE and excellence in project execution, and providing an increasingly wide range of services and solutions.”
Marco Moresco, Amec Foster Wheeler


This plant, located north of the city, produces copper and molybdenum. It produces about 230,000 tons of copper per year. CODELCO’s Andina division has the unusual feature of having all of its processing plant located inside caves in the Andean mountains. The copper ore is extractPicture of people in front of machineryed from an open-pit mine over 4,000 metres above sea level. We were selected to carry out engineering and start-up for its new molybdenum producing centre and to provide technical support for the installation of new columnar cells of the copper flotation section, inside the caves.

CODELCO’s Chuquicamata division produces over 400,000 tons of copper per year from the largest open-pit copper mine in the world (by excavated volume), and also produces significant amounts of molybdenum. Chuquicamata awarded us the engineering of technological change project which includes the installation of new vertical mills for regrinding in the copper and molybdenum concentrates flotation area. These new mills delivered significant savings in energy consumption and in maintenance and operation costs. The key challenge with this project is the layout of the new grinding area to minimise any impact on the current operation of the Chuquicamata copper plant.