Anglo American harnesses NASA technology to power Quellaveco mine in Peru

Diversified mining group Anglo American has deployed the latest technology at its Quellaveco mine in Peru to create a virtual replica that simulates everything that happens at its processing plant. This technology allows digital mining experts to perform predictive tests that help reduce security risks, optimize resource utilization, and improve production equipment performance.

The technology known as “digital twins” uses sensors installed in the mine to create virtual copies of equipment and infrastructure such as the milling system, flotation, tailings management, water management, and electrical system.

By stimulating various processes with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), the technology helps mines avoid failures of real equipment or processes.

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The US government’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration first used this technology more than 50 years ago to rescue the Apollo 13 crew after the craft malfunctioned and was unable to land. With the development of the Internet of Things and information management based on AI, digital twins have made an impressive technological leap and are now used in various industries.

“Digital twins not only allow us to achieve better but also increase safety by reducing error rates, which means a new level of efficiency for the mining industry,” says Cinthya Lozano, superintendent of Anglo American’s Integrated Operations Center.

“For example, we can put a parameter in the pump and see how it works.” “If it doesn’t work correctly, we change those parameters as many times as necessary, and when we have the right data, we just take them to the real world,” he adds.

Quellaveco is one of the first mines to adopt digital twin technology to improve the efficiency and safety of its processing plant using connectivity and sensors, making it the first 100% digital mine in Peru.

According to the miner, Quellaveco is the first 100% digital mine in Peru and one of the first to implement digital twin technology to improve efficiency and safety. The $5.5 billion mine began trial production of copper concentrate last July and is expected to produce between 80,000 and 100,000 tons in 2022. Once operational, production will rise to 300,000 tons per year for the first 10 years.

Quellaveco is owned by Anglo-American and Japanese companies, which hold 60% and 40% of the capital, respectively.

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