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Chilean mining delegation making the rounds in Sudbury

Codelco representatives seeking insight into battery-electric vehicles

Delegates from Chilean copper miner Codelco are visiting Sudbury this week to get insight into the city’s growing expertise in the development and use of battery-powered electric vehicles.

Representatives from Chile’s state-run mining company arrived in Sudbury on Aug. 5 to begin a five-day tour of operations and suppliers in Sudbury and Kirkland Lake.

The Aug. 5-9 visit is being organized by Sudbury and Area Mining Supply and Services Association (SAMSSA).

The Chilean tour group includes maintenance, engineering and operations managers from Codelco’s El Teniente Mine – the world’s largest underground copper operation – and the Chuquicamata open-pit mine.

Many Sudbury mining service companies already do a great deal of business with Codelco and with other South American mine operators.

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On the delegation’s itinerary is a visit to NORCAT’s Underground Centre (the former Fecunis Mine), which is an underground test site on Sudbury’s outskirts where companies conduct trials on new machinery and technologies in a mine-type environment.

In Kirkland Lake, the delegation has a scheduled surface tour of Kirkland Lake Gold’s Macassa Mine. Operations staff will tell the story of their learning curve in transitioning to battery electric front-end loaders, haul trucks and other machines.

During the week, the group has scheduled meetings with Glencore’s design team to further discuss electric vehicles and with selected Sudbury and North Bay suppliers in this niche field, including RDH-Scharf, Epiroc, MacLean Engineering, Miller Technology, among others. 

There will also be appointments with officials from the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), Canadian Mining Innovation Council and Export Development Canada.

In a meet-and-greet function with SAMSSA suppliers, the Codelco group will deliver a presentation on their Chilean operations.