At an elevation of 4,400 metres in the Tarapacá Region of northern Chile, an active workforce of more than 3,100 people are a working across major construction areas to build QB2, Teck’s mine of the future.
First ore processing and copper production at QB2 is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2021, with numerous project milestones to be achieved between now and then. A recently achieved milestone was completing the initial phase of mass earthworks by the Teck mine fleet. Another was the the first concrete pour for SAG Mill #1.
First Mass Concrete Pour
The first mass concrete pour was a major milestone achieved on May 20, 2019. Executed by our subcontractor Viay y Vives, overseen by Bechtel and led by Teck’s Area Manager, Carlos Opazo and the QB2 construction team, approximately 1,300 m3 of concrete was poured for the foundation at the concentrator area over a period of 36 continuous hours.
Despite challenging weather conditions, the pour was completed safely and efficiently thanks in part to the use of state-of-the-art technology. This included video cameras installed around the foundation and an electronic monitoring system that provided real-time data and thermal readings to the team during the pour. Together, these technologies will provide insights that will improve future pours.
Other QB2 construction activities currently underway include the mass earthworks at the balance of the concentrator, pipeline, tailings and port areas. Construction of the camps is well underway with over 3,000 beds currently available, and work at the port and pipeline areas is also expected to begin in the coming months.
Road Safety Management Plan
The vast distances and rugged terrain between Iquique and the project areas at QB2 pose a unique safety risk when planning for the transportation of our workforce across the various sites.
With this in mind, the QB2 Health, Safety and Security teams have developed a Road Safety Management Plan, outlining standards and expectations for vehicle safety. The plan integrates real-time tracking of the vehicle fleet through GPS monitoring and distraction avoidance alarms. This will help ensure everyone goes home safe and healthy every day.
QB2 Bird’s-Eye View
A new animated flyover takes viewers from port facilities on the coast of Chile along the 165 kilometres of pipeline to the mine area located at an elevation of 4,400 metres above sea level.
Here’s what you’ll see:
New port facilities on Chile’s coast near Punta Patache, where future product will be loaded for shipment to customers around the world.
The desalination plant, also located in the port area, will be the first large-scale use of seawater in place of fresh water in the Tarapacá Region.
Major infrastructure installations that will connect the mine area to the port facilities, with over 165 kilometres of pipelines to transport fresh water to the mine and concentrate back to the port. A 220 kV transmission line will run adjacent to the pipelines and supply power to the pump stations and mine area.
The mine area, where Teck’s largest processing facility will be located. Here copper ore will be processed at a new concentrator plant with an initial production capacity of 143,000 tonnes per day and a tailings management facility with a starter dam 120 metres high.