Dragados S.A., Besalco S.A.
— November 2011
Dr. Sauer & Partners provided conceptual design and basic engineering.
Los Bronces copper mine, an open-pit operation at an altitude of 3500m ASL in the Chilean Andes, planned to utilise a tunnel for further deposit exploration and development. The project consisted of an 8.2km tunnel link between Los Bronces and Confluencia, connecting two processing plants. By applying drill and blast methods, a chamber was prepared to launch a 4.5m diameter tunnel boring machine which took over further excavation. A difficult geological and hydrological setting, extreme weather conditions as well as the high altitude and the rough terrain, provided a challenging environment.
The geological setting is dominated by the volcanic activities of the region and includes magmatic rocks such as monzonite, andesite, and dacite.