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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: April 14th 2003

:: Andina's Tailings Operation  

Codelco is taking bids for a contract to operate its Andina mine's tailings disposal system. Andina is located 40 km southeast of the city of Los Andes and 50 km northeast of Santiago, between 3,500 and 4,000 m above sea level. The main requirements for the contract are:

  • Tailings transport and disposal in settling basins
  • Sand classification, distribution and compaction for wall construction
  • Watering and forestation with clear water from tailings
  • Monitoring of technical and environmental variables
  • Fulfil commitments made by the Division and stipulated in the EIS approval to operate the dam
  • Fulfil commitments made by the Division and stipulated in the sector authorisations granted by the regulating authorities.

With this new contract, Andina expects to reduce its current tailings disposal costs, as well as improve the quality, operational safety and environmental management. Andina's tailings are deposited at the Ovejeria impoundment located in Til-Til community, 45 km northwest of Santiago. Ovejeria is situated north and upstream of the Huechun dam. The system includes confining tailings in a reinforced concrete channel at the Andina's concentrate thickeners section in the Rio Blanco valley, at 2,800 m above sea level. Then, after an 84-km descent the tailings reach Ovejeria at 550 m above sea level.



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