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Advanced Mining Technology Center

Annual Report - Issue 3


Table of Contents 03

Message from the Chairman of the Board of Directors


Preamble by the Executive Director


Presentation of the Annual Report 2012/13




Mission and Vision


Organizational Structure


Board of Directors


Scientific Advisory Board


Industrial Advisory Board


Internal Structure 16 Strategic Partners


AMTC Researchers


Research Group 1: Exploration & Ore Deposit Modeling


Research Group 2: Mine Planning & Design


Research Group 3: Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy


Research Group 4: Mining Automation


Research Group 5: Water & Environmental Sustainability


Budget 2009-2012


Results 2012/13


Publications 2012


Technology Assets 2012/13


Intellectual Property 2012/13


Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences: Facts & Figures


Direction to AMTC

Annual Report-Issue 3



Advanced Mining Technology Center


Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Message from the Chairman of The Board of Directors

“Hard” (according to the jargon used in engineering) is the gamble

Unique in the country, the AMTC experience is proving that the

taken by the Baseline Funding Program of CONICYT on AMTC

university - industry alliance is not only possible but also impe-

(Advanced Mining Technology Center). Indeed, this initiative has

rative to the development of key areas of the national economy.

been characterized by going beyond the field of generic research

Unfortunately, the economic benefits that these partnerships

and venturing into the creation, design and operation of devices,

generate are not yet explicit to the parties. This situation has

systems and processes that have larger impact on the mining

an immense relevance in times when national mining sector

industry: in other words, transforming knowledge into wealth.

seems to be leaving the burgeoning times and faces a new

This is a major task; the AMTC is a pioneer Center in our country

cycle of reduced copper prices vis-à-vis the recent expectations.

that lights the path of technology transfer through the generation of new products and their integration into production systems,

In that respect, there is no doubt about the economic imperative

this time, the result of a major national professional talent.

of this century: more and better knowledge of the technological base of the industry should result in more productive and efficient

In its fourth year of operation, the AMTC is now an established

mining operations. Hence, today, AMTC should be enhanced,

institution. Today, two aspects illustrate the initially envisioned

particularly in times of crisis, by strengthening and accelerating

strength of the AMTC. First, its ability to attract a significant number

its work and supporting the creation of the best solutions. The

of world-class researchers, from around the globe, who now lead

industry, in turn, cannot eschew the responsibility to adopt the

a first-class team of Post-doctoral and PhD students to construct

new paradigms.

the University - Industry Bridge. Second, the strategic maturity in the Centers´ R&D areas, which are now structured within small number of research groups. This change has increased creative density, improved synergies, and enabled the research to smoothly address the interdisciplinary demands that mining projects present.

Dr. Francisco Brieva



Advanced Mining Technology Center


Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Preamble by the Executive Director

“Technology for Mining Made in Chile” was the title of AMTC 2013 Workshop held in April 2013. This motto summarizes the Center’s mission: to influence the national mining industry through our scientific and technological expertise and, at the same time, to compel us to double our efforts towards becoming a benchmark, both at national and international levels, in the development of applied multidisciplinary science and know-how as well as in the transfer of novel technologies to the industry to meet the needs and challenges the mining sector faces. We are thus contributing to the increase in productivity and competitiveness of the mining industry as well as to the generation of wealth and progress in our country.

The Center’s success relies heavily on both our International Scientific Advisory Board and our Industrial Advisory Board, who support the orientation of our work from two perspectives: the scientific significance of our activity and its relevance. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of each of the Boards for their excellent contributions towards the AMTC´s development. In the near future, we expect to further strengthen and expand our strategic alliances with mining companies, mining suppliers and research centers in Chile and overseas. The needs of the national mining industry are multiple and of great magnitude. Thus, developing technology that impacts the industry, increases productivity, reduces costs, and improves health and safety is a challenge that must be addressed in a collaborative approach by research centers, mining companies and suppliers. That is why the AMTC doors are wide open to ideas and initiatives to tackle this challenge in optimal conditions.

Four years after the creation of this Center, we are convinced we are on the right path to accomplish our goals. Our objective was to deliver the first fruits of our labor, which are showcased through the pages of this Annual Report 2012/2013, in which we describe the main projects and their results. In recent months, our efforts focused on capacity building for technology transfer and on the reorganization of the inner structure of the Centre. This was aimed to generate a greater synergy among the research teams. The number of teams was reduced from nine to five, merging some teams to address larger interdisciplinary projects. These five research teams are: Exploration and Ore Deposit Modeling; Mine Planning and Design; Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy; Mining Automation; Water and Environmental Sustainability.

Dr. Javier Ruiz del Solar -5-


Presentation of 2012/ 13 Annual Report

We are pleased to present you with the AMTC 2012/13 Annual Report. It summarizes the efforts carried out by the Advanced Mining Technology Centre (AMTC) as a result of its commitment to generate world-class multidisciplinary research in the mining area, to bolster advanced human capital formation and to lead the transfer of knowledge to the mining industry. This document provides the national and international scientific and industrial communities with the knowledge of the major initiatives, projects and R & D activities performed by the AMTC Research Teams during 2012 and the first half of 2013.


Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC




The Advanced Mining Technology Center (AMTC) was created in March 2009, after being selected by the Partnership Research Program of CONICYT under the Baseline Funding Program for Scientific and Technological Centers of Excellence. The AMTC has managed to consolidate and integrate the activities of five research teams with extensive experience in the training of researchers and top professionals as well as in the development of scientific excellence. Its 167 scientists are integrated within the five research groups: Exploration and Deposit Modeling; Mining Design and Planning; Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy; Mining Automation; Water and Environmental Sustainability. In addition, AMTC has established important cooperations, and joint research initiatives with world class science organizations and technology centers. Among the AMTC partners are CODELCO and BHP Billiton Base Metals, whose representatives are also members of the AMTC Board. Currently, the Center has a four-storey institutional building (1,232 square meters), which houses the headquarters, 10 research laboratories and collaborative workspaces.


Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC


To generate world class multidisciplinary research, transfer novel technologies to the industry and train top-class professionals to face the challenges of mining, in order to contribute to the well-being and the development of Chile and communities worldwide.


We will be the leaders in the application of multidisciplinary R&D and the transfer of the knowledge and technologies to the industry, in order to meet the needs of the mining sector through innovation, both nationally and internationally. We will create a dynamic Centre that will attract scientists, industry professionals and students of the world class caliber to share our vision and ambitions and to contribute towards the Center’s goal. We will generate new alliances and partnerships with leading research centers and world class companies.




Board of Directors

Scientific Advisory Board

Industrial Advisory Board

Executive Director Strategic Council Operating Committee

Research & Development

Administration & Managerial Control

Adminitration & Finance

Human Resources

Legal Affairs

Exploration and Ore Deposit Modelling

Communication & Marketing

Mine Planning & Design

Technology Transfer

Demand Management

Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy

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Mining Automation

Formulation & Management of Projects

Water & Environmental Sustainability

Technological Development

Francisco Brieva Dean, Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences. University of Chile

Cleve Lightfoot Leader, Global Practice Technology BHP Billiton Base Metals

JuliĂĄn Ortiz Director, Department of Mining Engineering University of Chile

Javier RamĂ­rez Director of Innovation University of Chile

Gerhard von Borries Vicepresident, Business Development CODELCO

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Board of Directors


Scientific Advisory Board

Bruce Hebblewhite University of New South Wales, Australia

John Hadjigeorgiou University of Toronto, Canada

Guillaume Caumon University of Lorraine, France

Ram贸n Aravena University of Waterloo, Canada

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Malcolm Scoble University of British Columbia, Canada

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Industrial Advisory Board

Ricardo Aguilera Regional Manager, Projects & Technologic Innovation Barrick Sudamérica Mining Company

Fidel Báez Manager, Technology & Innovation CODELCO

Iván Cerda Manager, Technical Department SONAMI

Omar Hernández Coordinator, Innovation Programs INNOVAChile-CORFO

Óscar Muñoz Manager, Standards & Technical Development Anglo American Cobre

Óscar Valenzuela Manager, Mining Development Minera Escondida –BHP Billiton

Pascual Veiga President APRIMIN

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President Javier Ruiz del Solar Executive Director

President Javier Ruiz del Solar Executive Director



Martin Adams Principal Researcher Mining Automation Research Group

Manuel Duarte Principal Researcher Leader, Mining Automation Research Group

Raúl Castro Principal Researcher Mine Planning & Design Research Group Diana Comte Principal Researcher Exploration & Ore Deposit Modeling Research Group Manuel Duarte Principal Researcher Mining Automation Research Group Xavier Emery Principal Researcher Exploration & Ore Deposit Modeling Research Group Willy Kracht Principal Researcher Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy Research Group

Willy Kracht Principal Researcher Leader, Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy Research Group James McPhee Associate Researcher Leader, Water & Environmental Sustainability Research Group Nelson Morales Associate Researcher Leader, Design & Mine Planning Research Group Brian Townley Associate Researcher Leader, Exploration & Ore Deposit Modeling Research Group

Yarko Niño Principal Researcher Water & Environmental Sustainability Research Group Julián Ortiz Principal Researcher Exploration & Ore Deposit Modeling Research Group Claudio Pérez Principal Researcher Mining Automation Research Group Javier Vallejos Principal Researcher Design & Mine Planning Research Group - 14 -


Diana Comte

Paulet Riveros

R&D Director

Administrative Officer

Principal Researcher

Carlo Díaz Administrative Officer


Guillermo Navarro Administrative Officer Renée Kellinghusen Assistant

Rodrigo Cortés Manager Francisco Anguita


Projects Coordinator

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & DEVELOPMENT UNIT María Teresa Ramírez Executive Coordinator Priscila Palacios Strategy and Communication Officer Bernardita Ponce

Claudio Baeza

Strategy and Communication Officer

Head of Unit Oriana Miranda Engineer Ingrid Oviedo Engineer

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC






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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC





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AMTC RESEARCHERS Exploration & Ore Deposit Modeling

Mine Planning and Design



Group Leader Nelson Morales

Group Leader Brian Townley

Principal Researchers Diana Comte Xavier Emery Julián Ortiz Associate Researchers Germán Aguilar César Arriagada Daniel Baeza Daniel Carrizo Reynaldo Charrier Katja Deckart Marcos Díaz Álvaro Egaña Marcelo García Francisco Gutiérrez Eduardo Magri Fernando Martínez Felipe Navarro Exequiel Sepúlveda Jorge Silva Fabián Soto Brian Townley Development Engineers Luis Acevedo Carlos Aranda Accel Abarca Eduardo Bustos Ernesto Castillo Carlos González Gerson Morales Melandra Molina Postdoctoral Researchers Pablo Guerrero Denisse Pasten

Doctorate Students Juan Becerra Alejandro Cáceres Gonzalo Díaz José Guillermo Fuentes Pamela Jara Nasser Madani Mohammad Maleki Marcela Oyarzún Claudia Pavez Matias Peña María Pía Rodríguez Masters’ Students Álvaro Aravena Sebastián Ávalos Magdalena Boetsch Enrique Caballero Efraín Cárdenas Pamela Castillo Juan Castro Carlos Corral María Cerda Gustavo Donoso Ignacio Gálvez Felipe Garrido Pablo Gómez Luis González Cindy Guaitía Rodrigo Gutiérrez Jorge Jara Pia Lois Yerko Martínez Roberto Miranda René Mora María Eugenia Segovia Yerko Simicic Daniela Paredes Ítalo Payacán Katherine Pinochet Katia Rossel Álvaro Vergara

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Principal Researchers Raúl Castro Javier Vallejos Associate Researchers Alejandro Ehrenfeld Nelson Morales Sebastián Valerio Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart Postdoctoral Researchers Pierre Nancel-Penard Doctorate Students Rodrigo Estay Enrique Jélvez María Elena Valencia Masters’ Students Rolando Arteaga Carolina Bahamóndez Sindy Burgos Cristián Castro José Ignacio Fuenzalida Tania Galarce Cristián López Juan Luengo Francisco Marco Yonathan Molina Vicente Ortega Juan Quiroz María Yrarrázaval Kimie Suzuki

Mining Automation

Water & Environmental Sustainability

Group Leader Willy Kracht

Group Leader Manuel Duarte

Group Leader James McPhee

Principal ResearchER Willy Kracht

Principal Researchers Martin Adams Manuel Duarte Claudio Pérez Javier Ruiz del Solar

Principal ResearchER Yarko Niño

03 04 05

Associate Researchers Néstor Becerra Christian Ihle Tomás Vargas Leandro Voisin Development Engineer Jorge Wuth Masters’ Students Jorge Casanova Nicolás Guarda Gonzalo Jéldrez Carlos Hunt Fabián Mancilla Gonzalo Damm Exequiel Marambio Carlos Moraga Karl Mühlenbrock Viviana Pavez

Associate Researchers Carlos Aravena Mauricio Correa Pablo Estévez Marcos Orchard Paul Vallejos

Associate Researchers Edward Cornwell Paula Díaz Christian Ihle Miguel Lagos James McPhee Maximiliano Rodríguez Aldo Tamburrino

Development Engineers Rodrigo Asenjo Jacob Saravia

Postdoctoral Researchers Andreina García Santiago Monserrat

Postdoctoral Researchers Omar Daud Francisco Galdames Keith Leung Patricio Loncomilla Freddy Milla Rodrigo Verschae

Doctorate Students Álvaro González Sergio Palma

Doctorate Students Norelys Águila Fernando Bernuy Leonardo Cament Carlos Celemin Daniel Herrmann Pablo Huijse Francisco Jaramillo Leonardo Leottau Daniel Luhr Carlos Navarro David Nova Wilma Pairo Sebastián Parra Marcelo Saavedra Daniel Schulz Claudio Tapia Juan Tapia Sebastián Ulloa Jorge Vergara José Miguel Yáñez Masters’ Students Alonso Astroza Enrique Guerrero Felipe Inostroza

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Masters’ Students Jaime Cotroneo Yuri Castillo Omar Castillo Fernando Medina Gonzalo Montserrat Tomás Trewhela

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy



01 Exploration & Ore Deposit Modeling

Geological resources of our country constitute the most important assets of the mining companies´ development and their continuous operations. Although Chile has numerous base metal reserves, the discovery of new deposits has decreased due to the reduction of easy-to-detect surface resources. Future findings will mainly be made of mineral resources hidden beneath the sedimentary, post-mineralization cover or at great depth, with little or no surface exposure. Given the geological characteristics of the Andean Region, the interdependence of natural resources and associated geological hazards, it is necessary to develop multidisciplinary strategies to reduce ambiguity in the exploration of future deposits. This requires an integrated geo-scientific approach, which combines geophysics, structural geology, and geochemistry me-

thodologies applicable to fossil deposits and geothermal fields. Currently, large amount of data is generated at different stages of resource characterization, which is not fully exploited for the creation of resource models, the reserves or their geo-metallurgical value. Therefore, it becomes necessary to develop tools and models focused on delivering the best prediction (estimation) of resources, which are based on categorical and continuous variables, and on quantifying uncertainty to facilitate decision-making. The resource models are based on geo-scientific data and information and on data obtained from drill samples, which are highly important towards understanding of the nature of the deposit and planning the best strategy for its extraction and return on investment.

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

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Exploration and Ore Deposit Modeling


Group Leader Dr. Brian Townley brian.townley@amtc.cl

Objective The Exploration and Ore Deposit Modeling Group studies and

In ore deposit modeling, geo-mineral metallurgical characteri-

analyzes various issues of the mining business through research

zation studies are performed. These studies allow quantitative

development and innovation. Its researchers are academics,

and qualitative mineral discrimination and determination of

full time researchers and graduate & undergraduate students

mineral processing predictive behavior models. These predictive

from Geology, Geophysics, Mining, Electrical and Computer

models have a strong research component in the development

Engineering. The Group’s research areas are based on studies of

of mineral deposit geo-statistical modeling oriented to univaria-

hydrothermal systems and ore mineral forming processes at all

te and multivariate estimation and simulation of reserves and

scales, applied to activities ranging from basic exploration (regio-

resources in complex scenarios. Ore deposit modeling also

nal), advanced exploration (district and local), and pre-feasibility

includes development of specialized software.

studies, including ore deposit geological models for estimation and simulation of resources and reserves and for geo-mineral metallurgical models.

Research Areas

Mining exploration related research involves geophysical, geo-

Considering the need to integrate geological, geophysical,

logical, structural and geochemical techniques, employed at

geochemical, and mining and metallurgical aspects in the cha-

regional to local scales, from “green fields” to “advanced” and

racterization of ore deposits, and taking into account the type

“brown fields” exploration. The projects integrate all techniques

of information available for numerical models, the Group favors

in order to achieve multi-scale transversal exploration criteria,

multidisciplinary analysis, incorporating different branches of

providing higher confidence in the identification of exploration

science and engineering, to maximize learning and development

targets. At ore deposit scale structural-geological, mineral and

of innovative techniques. This has allowed strengthening of a

geochemical characterization studies are performed, with results

variety of areas of expertise, both in terms of basic and applied

applied to both exploration models and resource assessment for

research and development, innovation and technology transfer.

geological and/or geo-mineral metallurgical models.

Among these are: Geological and structural multiscale mapping;

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Geo- and thermo-chronological dating; Petrological studies of the

of the uncertainty associated with the disposition and size of

magmatic sources associated with the ore deposits; Geochemical

geological bodies, particularly in terms of rock types, lithology,

analysis and modeling; Magnetic and paleomagnetic analysis;

mineralogy, alteration, textures and geological units, including

Neo- and seismotectonic studies; Local earthquake tomography;

multivariate relations to ore grade of elements of interest, of

Identification of active faults associated with shallow seismicity;

sub-products and impurities and their geo-metallurgical attributes.

Tectonic and structural models; Induced seismicity associated with mining and geothermal exploitation; Mineral, physical and


geochemical characterization for mining exploration and geo-mineral metallurgical modeling; Integrated numerical modeling; Seismic hazard (interplate, intraplates and shallow seismicity);

The development of areas of expertise in the Group has allowed

Geo-statistics and stochastic modeling; Ore deposit evaluation

the generation of research lines that have an assortment of direct

and sampling; software development; High performance compu-

applications to the mining industry, which allow improvement of

ting; Image analysis, and Numerical modeling and optimization.

knowledge and technologies for the optimization of the mining

The analyses, tools and models developed by the Group im-

business. Present research lines and applications are:

prove the knowledge of the fundamental geological processes that are responsible for the genesis and evolution of giant ore

• Seismic tomography: a tool for geophysical exploration.

deposits and geothermal fields, based on 4D (3D + time)

• Structural modeling and applied tectonics.

models and the geological hazards associated with the most

• Geological hazard assessment.

relevant active tectonics of the Andean region. They also have

• Geology for mining exploration.

direct application in the construction of resource models using

• Numerical modeling of magmatic and hydrothermal systems.

estimation techniques as well as the numerical characterization

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• Rock characterization by image analysis for the development


of geo-metallurgical predictive models. • Geological modeling using advanced computational tools

Research and development has allowed the consolidation of a

and specialized software design for mine development.

unique work Group, which considers the enhancement of the

• Geo-mineral metallurgical modeling of ore deposits with

integration of several disciplines associated with exploration and

emphasis on the integration of geological and geochemical high performance computing models.

modeling of ore deposits and geothermal fields, using modern software and hardware. The Group consists of more than 30 researchers and a similar number of graduate students, and

The development of the previously mentioned research lines has allowed the creation of thematic laboratories, three of them grouped under Applied Geosciences & GeoResources Exploration Laboratory (AG2E):

involves a computer cluster with 32 cores. Furthermore, in its development, the Group has maintained a close relationship with the mining industry. The ongoing and finalized research projects and studies are carried out on emblematic mining districts, among these, Escondida,

• Geophysics Instrumentation Laboratory (AG2E). • Laboratory of Geomatics and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (AG2E).

Spence, Los Bronces, Los Pelambres and the Centinela District. In addition, development of specialized software tools has been accomplished, among these, software for the modeling of geo-mi-

• Paleomagnetism data processing Laboratory (AG2E).

neral metallurgical variables for geometric restitution of geological

• Geo-statistics Supercomputing Advanced Laboratory (ALGES).

bodies, and for image analysis and geological characterization. These projects have been developed in close collaboration with the mining companies, such as, CODELCO, BHP-Billiton, Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, and Yamana Gold.

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

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Geological Hazard Assessment

Research Line Leader Dr. Diana Comte diana.comte@amtc.cl

Objective Research objectives are the evaluation of geological hazards by

The volcanic hazard study determines the probability of occu-

means of knowledge integration of the different potential hazard

rrence, magnitude and areas of influence of volcanic activity.

sources and estimation of geological recurrence, and identifi-

The danger is related to volcanic ash fall and toxic components

cation of the existing or potential vulnerability and the type of

(acid rain and heavy metals), avalanches of volcanic products

expected damage. The main challenge is to develop and apply

and water supplied by the melting glacier (lahars), lava and

methodologies using modern techniques of remote sensing

pyroclastic flows and landslides. The scope of these processes is

and geographic information systems; both in the study of the

evaluated through numerical simulations that consider different

processes themselves as well as monitoring activity in vulnerable

scenarios of magnitude and type of volcanic activity, topography

or high risk areas, allowing the assessment of hazards associated

and weather variables.

with geological phenomena typical of the Andean region, such as, earthquakes, volcanic activities and mass removals.

The analysis of the landslide risk is based on geomorphological mapping and morphometric analysis of watersheds and sub-drainage basins. The mapping is used to evaluate recurrence


and estimate the volume of unstable and susceptible material transferred by collapses, crashes or creeping. Morphometric

The study of seismic hazard requires understanding the seis-

analyzes characterize numerically the relief occupying the drai-

motectonic context of the historical and recent seismicity of the

nage area, the slope, the steepness, roughness, topography and

study area. The different seismic sources must be identified and,

hypsometry, which together identify leading imbalance. Using a

for each, the Gutenberg-Richter relationship is determined. This

probabilistic approach the danger of landslides can be assessed

allows the estimation of the maximum expected magnitude of

based on models that integrate hydro-meteorological variables.

the seismic event. Subsequently, we determine the probability of occurrence for each seismic source using the Poisson and bi-parametric Weibull distributions.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results Seismic hazard studies carried out in Chile, Peru and Panama

For the study of the landslide hazards we use geographic infor-

regions, identified large interplate, intermediate depth intraplate

mation systems to visualize the drainage basins and combine

and superficial earthquakes that historically have affected diffe-

such information with an estimation of unbalanced relief featu-

rent regions of these countries. Earthquake rupture areas were

res, distribution of non to poorly-consolidated cover rocks and

determined as a function of the area VII MM intensity, and, in

recurrence time of previous landslide processes.

the case of recent earthquakes, as dependent on the distribution of aftershocks. In these areas, we estimated minimum distances

The studies associated with the different types of hazards have

to each type of seismic sources present in the study areas and

been carried out by Drs. Daniel Carrizo, Francisco GutiĂŠrrez and

determined the values of the Gutenberg-Richter relationship

GermĂĄn Aguilar.

for each type of seismic source. The time sequences between occurrences of earthquakes were modeled on a probabilistic


approach assuming Poisson processes or using Weibull bi-parametric distribution.

BHP Billiton To determine the baseline and/or to monitor volcanic activity


of a particular system, we used volcanic monitoring stations.


Depending on the volcanic system under study, this monitoring may include seismicity, deformation, temperature, geochemistry of volcanic fluids and solids and remote monitoring of volcanic products.

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Geophysics Instrumentation

Research Line Leader Dr. Marcos Diaz marcos.diaz@amtc.cl

Objective Research objectives include the design and implementation of

(design, construction, development and application) allows to:

geological and geophysical recording systems, such as; seismic

obtain body wave velocity structure, through a high-resolution

stations, volcanic monitoring stations and fault and slope remote

seismic tomography, process the recorded seismic data, and

monitoring stations.

monitor the baseline of seismicity and the induced seismicity associated with the mining processes.


The volcanic monitoring stations allow continuous recording of the seismic activity, the temperature and the imaging of visible

A multi-parameter, low cost and lower consumption recording

changes in volcanic hydrothermal systems. These stations allow

system has been designed. The design is based on the identi-

monitoring of fumaroles emissions, volcanic plumes and crater

fication of the elements that permit continuous recording with

lakes as well as SO2 flow measurement, water level, pH and

the required precision of the parameters to be measured. We


optimized the storage capacity and the telemetry transmission of the new recorder; its performance was tested in laboratory

For the evaluation of mass removal associated with fault and/or

and in natural field conditions.

slope stability, monitoring of dip and/or surface slope features is crucial. In mining operations, safety conditions do not allow

Currently, we have an updated version of the continuous recording

direct measurements, especially, in areas of high risk. Develop-

seismic stations, with variable sampling rates and with commu-

ment of remote sensing technology by using robotic helicopters

nication between stations and remote monitoring. This system

is being tested, combining aspects of hazard assessment with technological developments to make mines safer.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



The seismological stations built in this laboratory are currently

Innova Chile -CORFO

being used in research and applied projects for the mining and

Universidad de Chile

geothermal industries. An additional module that allows real


time communication between the stations and a central recorder system is being tested.

Partners The stations that include other modules, such as, satellite communication (for remote areas), strong motion sensor, tem-

Octal IngenierĂ­a y Desarrollo

perature and imaging, SO2 flow measurement, water level, pH

IngenierĂ­a Redco

and electro-conductivity, are under development and testing. The development of seismic stations is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Diana Comte while the volcanic monitoring stations development in collaboration with Dr. Francisco Gutierrez.

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Seismic Tomography: A Geophysical Tool for Exploration

Research Line Leader Dr. Diana Comte diana.comte@amtc.cl

Objective Seismic tomography is an indirect technique to identify new

the study area; the seismic stations have to be deployed with a

mineral resources. The discovery of new resources is of vital

reasonable azimuthal coverage and they usually are continuously

importance considering that the future ore deposits will be

recording during 4-6 months periods. These stations monitor

located under covered areas with little or no surface evidence.

natural seismicity and the seismicity generated by the mine blasting activity. The P- and S-wave arrival times are used for a joint, 3D determination of hypocenters and body wave velocity

The objectives are to:

structure (Vp, Vs, and Vp/Vs). The Vp/Vs ratio, in particular, may • Integrate the results of seismic tomography to better unders-

indicate, through contrasts, more fragile zones and the presence

tand the emplacement models of large mineral deposits and

of fluid, which are correlated with the mineralized deposits. The

geothermal fields.

same technique has also proven useful in understanding active

• Use the hypocenters determined with a 3D model of seismic

geothermal fields.

wave velocities to analyze induced seismicity associated with mining and geothermal exploitation and its relationship with

The local earthquake tomography allows determination of a

seismically active fault systems within the near region.

3D body wave velocity model of the study area and accurate location of seismic source hypocenters; shallow seismicity observed in the area is especially important as a support for


geological structural models. These models provide valuable

The main path is to use the abundant natural seismicity that

field conceptual models.

information for the generation of ore deposit and geothermal

characterizes the western boundary of Chile to visualize the 3D distribution of the ore (or geothermal) bodies, using the high Vp/Vs contrasts associated with their rheological characteristics with respect to their near environment. The spatial distribution of the seismic stations is defined as a function of the scale of

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Moreover, with the permanent seismic monitoring, induced seismicity associated with the mining processes can be determined as well as those associated with fluid injection in geothermal fields.

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results The high rate of natural seismicity in the Andes allows identification

identification of some geothermal field geometric features. The

of shallow characteristics of the crust, such as lithological struc-

results have been obtained in collaboration with Drs. Daniel

tures, fracture zones, active faults and presence of fluids. These

Carrizo and Francisco Gutierrez.

elements are essential for building three-dimensional models of mega ore deposits and geothermal fields. Therefore, exploration


of these reservoirs requires data to quantify subsurface geometry and properties of potential exploration targets. The main results are 3D body wave velocity models, integrated with geological

Anglo American

and structural information, allowing identification of the depth


distribution of known ore deposits and, potentially, some not


yet discovered. Such 3D models have also been useful in the

GeoGlobal Energy

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Modeling of Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems

Research Line Leader Dr. Francisco GutiĂŠrrez francisco.gutierrez@amtc.cl



The research objectives of this initiative are to improve magmatic

Numerical models employ direct and remote sensing information.

and hydrothermal system conceptual models through quantitative

Determination of temperature and detection of surface thermal

analysis. The quantitative analysis is expected to allow a reduc-

anomalies by means of remote sensing is accomplished using

tion of the uncertainty of associated variables and processes,

satellite image processing and direct measurements of temperature,

towards more accurate models, which would, subsequently,

heat flux and net radiation in the field. The sub-surface thermal

contribute to better decision making in mining exploration and

distribution is determined by means of seismic tomography

geothermal reservoir evaluation. The analysis and modeling of

models. Geochemical models of fluids in the volcanic and/or

variables, conditions and thermal and geochemical processes of

hydrothermal systems are constructed based on temperature

magmatic and hydrothermal systems are completed through the

distribution, fluid composition (chemical and isotopic, pH, EC),

development of conceptual and static and/or dynamic numerical

and flow. Such determinations are based on direct geochemical

models. Surface and sub-surface static thermal simulations allow

sampling of gaseous and aqueous phases and, indirectly, on

determination of temperature distribution and thermal contrast

SO2 flow measurements by using differential absorption optical

anomaly models, while dynamic models allow determination


of the temporal evolution of the main variables controlling the temperature distribution and fluid processes of the studied system.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Stationary simulations of the distribution of temperature and the

and hydrothermal systems has allowed quantification of flows,

time-dependent fluid dynamic simulations of the different flows

reservoirs and main processes occurring in these systems. These

associated with the magmatic and hydrothermal systems are

processes include mixing, boiling, condensation, crystallization,

based on the finite element method, optimization and inversion

and water/rock interaction reactions (mineralization and leaching).

developed by the researchers. These methods, with the geometry

The results of these simulations are presented in both static

of the resulting reservoirs, contribute quantitatively to exploration

images and videos. Simulations have revealed the main geolo-

decisions of mega deposits and geothermal reservoirs.

gical units (structures and lithology) that control the transport, reaction, and accumulation of magmatic hydrothermal fluids and


magmas, allowing identification of the key factors that control emplacement of mega deposits and geothermal reservoirs.

The thermal modeling of magmatic and hydrothermal systems has allowed identification of thermal anomalies on the surface


and in sub-surface areas. The results of these static simulations are presented in geo-referenced images, sections (vertical and horizontal) and temperature diagrams, as well as, thermal and


heat flow anomalies. The fluid dynamic modeling of magmatic


- 33 -


Applied tectonics and multi-scale structural modeling

Research Line Co-Leader

Research Line Co-Leader

Dr. Daniel Carrizo

Dr. César Arriagada



Objective Research objectives are aimed at improving structural geology

of sedimentary basins, advanced techniques of numerical struc-

models at all scales, thus reducing uncertainties, especially those

tural modeling (2D and 3D) and of temporal relationships (4D)

that describe and predict the physical environment and potential

using high-resolution geochronology techniques.

localization of ore deposits. This uncertainty represents one of the most important challenges in the development of exploration and mining models. The impact of this research line responds to


the extreme sensitivity of business models in relation to strategic decisions of investment, both in the exploration phase as well

• Multiscale structural geological mapping (regional, district and mine) on the basis of quantitative and systematic data

as in the stages of resource extraction.

interpretation with implications for exploration and mining The development of structural models that allow integrating

operations (pits and tunnels).

3D information of different nature and scale, based on modern

• Analysis and characterization of structural systems.

concepts of deformation of the lithosphere and according to

• Structural geological interpretation of remote sensing and

the Andean tectonic evolution, represents a strategic key to the

geophysical data (2D, 3D seismic reflection profiles; gravi-

understanding of the relationship of mineral deposit forming

metric profiles, and magnetotelluric profiles, among others).

processes and the continuous deformation of the crust.

• Construction and validation of geometric, kinematic, and

On this basis, our aim is to understand the role of the various deformation processes and its associated structures in the genesis and evolution of mineral deposits in the Andean metallogenetic provinces and in active hydrothermal fields with geothermal potential. To reach this research objective, we have developed multiscale structural models (2D, 3D and 4D) with genetic and geotechnical implications, supported by quantitative field observations, interpretation of remote sensing, tectonic analysis

- 34 -

numerical validation of structural models (2D, 3D and 4D). • Surveys of paleomagnetic data and validation of oriented drill cores (shallow and deep). • Neotectonic observation methodologies (morphotectonics and Quaternary geochronology). • Determination of deformation ages, magmatism, and/or alteration and mineralization events.

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



Construction of geological models (2D, 3D and 4D) in areas

Antofagasta Minerals S.A.

of exploration interest (orogeny, province, district, and mine).

Anglo American Chile

Applications are oriented both to exploration and mine develo-

BHP Billiton

pment. The transversal information employed for these models


includes geo-mechanical aspects (useful for development of the

SRK Consulting Chile

mine design), as well as, ore genetic models and development


of metallogenic evolution models for target determinations in exploration. Research activities includes the following scientists from other R&D Groups: Dr. Katja Deckart katja.deckart@amtc.cl (Geochronology and Isotopic Geochemistry) and Brian Townley brian.townley@amtc.cl (Metallogenesis, Mining Exploration and Applied Geochemistry).

- 35 -


Geology for mineral exploration

Research Line Leader Dr. Marcelo GarcĂ­a marcelo.garcia@amtc.cl

Objectives The objective of this project is to acquire and integrate geolo-

relations, structure characteristics and rock sampling for laboratory

gical knowledge in highly prospective regions, which is crucial

studies (e. g., petrography, geochemistry, geochronology, thermo

to the implementation of exploration strategies in the early and

chronology and physical properties).

advanced stages of exploration campaign; for instance, to purchase or abandon mining properties and to plan and conduct

The scale of the survey can range from local (1:1,000) to regional

drilling or geophysical and geochemical surveys.Furthermore, the

(1:100,000). The techniques used range from digital geological

project will focus on inferring the site´s location and to generate

mapping to on-site and real- time data collection (using tablets

exploration vectors as integrated geological models that would

which incorporate GPS and appropriate software). This allows

contribute to the project´s exploration activity.

confirmation of data consistency, and integration with prior information and modeling.

In areas with post-mineral cover, the objective is to determine indirectly (without drilling) the sectors with a lower thickness of

Post-mineral cover thickness is determined by mapping, sampling

coverage and, within them, to interpret geophysical and geo-

and geophysical methods (such as gravimetric, seismic). When

chemical substrate signals that correlate with mineral deposit

the thickness is smaller and, therefore, more accessible by dri-


lling, the composition of the substrate is inferred (e.g., with gas collectors, detailed gravimetric magnetometer). Special emphasis is placed on the identification of exotic mineralization in the


post-mineral cover, which can serve as a guide for exploration. Finally, the information is incorporated in conceptual models,

The geological survey is a primary tool in this area. It is based,

which allow visualization of the relationships in time and space

among others, on systematic observations, at a certain scale, of

between the thermal history of a deposit, deformation and its

lithological types, structural patterns and areas of hydrothermal

alteration-mineralization patterns.

alteration and mineralization. This includes identifying crosscutting

- 36 -

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results The outcomes from geological surveys are in the form of regional

The study of mineral detection rates on the basis of low tem-

geological survey maps, Cuya and Miñimiñi, North of Chile, for

perature thermo-chronology at the Norte Chico area began at

the SERNAGEOMIN carried out at scales 1:100,000, as part of

the end of 2012.

SERNAGEOMIN mapping program to promote mining exploration. A directed research project is being developed to gather infor-

Research projects have been developed with researchers Drs.

mation on the varying thicknesses of the post-mineral cover in

Germán Aguilar (thermo chronology), Katja Deckart (geochro-

the Pampa del Tamarugal area. The seismic profiles are provided

nology) and Brian Townley (exploration geochemistry).

by ENAP.


In previous years (2010-2011), programs of geological survey with the mining companies AMSA, Kinross and Serviland Minergy were developed. In one of these areas, a 3D model of


post-mineral cover thickness was generated.

AMSA Kinross Serviland Minergy FONDECYT

- 37 -

Research Line

Rock Characterization using Image Analysis for the Development of Geo-Metallurgical Predictive Models

Research Line Leader Dr. Juliรกn Ortiz julian.ortiz@amtc.cl



The objective of this project is to develop algorithms, methods

The main outcomes of the project will be software prototypes at

and tools to allow the automation and improvement of geo-me-

a pre-commercial level. In addition, a provision of services using

tallurgical processes as well as the acquisition of relevant data for

digital image characterization for applications to geo-metallurgical

controlling these processes based on image analysis techniques

modeling will be considered for development within this project.

in both the visible and non-visible spectra.

The project will also contribute to the formation and training of highly qualified specialists and will generate a close relationship with the mineral industry.

Methodology The development of image analysis models based on color and


on the characterization of textures as well as hyper-spectral data is considered. This will allow the development of a system for

BHP Billiton

the characterization of minerals, through the determination of the


species and their proportions, from a digital image in the visible


spectrum, taken from a drill hole core or through microscopic analysis. In addition, the identification of the alterations, lithology and a quantitative characterization of the texture will be conside-


red. Furthermore, these tools will permit the characterization of object populations (measuring their quantity, average diameter,

Minera El Tesoro

among other characteristics) existing in digital images taken by

BHP Billiton

in-situ mechanisms.

- 38 -

Research Line

Research Line Leader Dr. Xavier Emery xavier.emery@amtc.cl



To develop tools and methods for constructing block models

The main result of the project is a software prototype for cons-

that describe the relationships between geo-metallurgical va-

tructing large block models in a multivariate context (currently,

riables to adequately characterize their spatial distribution and

the variables are often modeled separately or the focus is on

to predict the effects of these relationships on the metallurgical

few variables), improving mine planning and decision-making.

and economic performance of mining ventures.

The project will also contribute to the training of specialists and will generate a close relationship with the industry.

Methodology Funding Multivariate modeling must account for the spatial correlation of each variable as well as the spatial dependence between variables.


It is proposed to incorporate multivariate geo-statistical estimation


and simulation tools for the construction of three-dimensional

Innova Chile - CORFO

block models of geo-metallurgical variables, such as, mineral


grades, rock types, minerals abundances or acid consumption. In addition to conventional techniques, it is of interest to incorporate


other techniques developed in the scope of the project in order to address possible implementation problems. The proposed


solution is innovative as current commercial software does not allow to properly characterize multivariate relationships and does not take advantage of these relationships.

- 39 -

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Geo-metallurgical modeling of ore deposits with emphasis on the integration of geological and geochemical information into highperformance computing models


Geological Modeling with Advanced Computational Tools and Creation of Specialized Software for Mining Development

Research Line Leader Dr. Juliรกn Ortiz julian.ortiz@amtc.cl

Objective The objective of this project is to: develop computational tools

In the first case, a reference plane is determined onto which

to allow adequate geological modeling of ore deposits, which

points are projected; the points representing a solid in the original

includes restoration of the original geometry of ore bodies

space are projected into this transformed coordinate system.

affected by faults and folds; to facilitate the inference of the

Then, a conventional geostatistical modeling is followed within

spatial continuity and subsequent modeling of the resources

the transformed coordinates system, which improves the infe-

and to enable the input and integration of expert knowledge in

rence of the continuity and allows using an increased number

the geological modeling through gestural commands with the

of data in estimation and simulation of unsampled locations.

support of numerical methods, deterministic and stochastic. The

The second approach aims at characterizing locally the reference

outcome sought is a rapid construction of solids representing

system and defining non-Euclidean distances. In this approach,

geological bodies while ensuring full consistency with the hard

geodesic distances between points on the folded system are

(field) data.

numerically approximated to solve the problems of estimation and simulation of the attributes of interest considering this geometry. The project also aims to develop an interface in order to facilitate


the input of expert information through gestural commands, to be

Procedures for the geometric restitution are implemented in two ways. In the first approach, an explicit approach is followed, in which the body is brought to its original geometry, prior to folding and faulting. The second approach uses implicit modeling of the folding, through the characterization of locally varying anisotropy field.

- 40 -

used as soft information to control the behavior of the numerical models, which in turn are based on hard (field) information from drill samples and surface and underground mappings. The generation of volumes is performed using deterministic techniques based on distance to the contacts between geological

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC


units or with stochastic tools that use the spatial continuity of different categories and that are used for modeling the uncertainty in the extent and position of the geological bodies.

BHP Billiton Yamana Gold AMTC


Department of Mining Engineering, FCFM, UCH

The project aims to generate a software prototype to perform


assisted geological modeling, with easy input of expert information. The software is based on the numerical tools generating solids consistent with the hard (field) data while being controlled by

BHP Billiton

the soft information provided by the modeler.

Yamana Gold

- 41 -



02 Mine Planning and Design

The progressive depletion of surface

into profitable operations subject to the

mineral resources and the exploitation

strategic objectives of shareholders and

of mineral deposits at depth require the

mining business owners; expanding the

use of underground excavation techniques

understanding of massive underground

that are both safe and profitable.

caving methods; designing and applying selective mining methods in medium

Currently, Chilean, Australian and Cana-

government-owned mining enterprises,

dian mining companies are conducting

as well as developing procedures and

mining developments in Chile that will

methodologies to facilitate mine planner

position mining operations at levels much

with better understanding of complex

deeper that currently exist. This makes

linkages between the geo-metallurgical

it necessary to formulate a strategy for

characterization of the deposits and their

knowledge development aiming towards:

economic value.

transforming the geological resource

- 42 -

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

- 43 -



Mine Planning and Design

Group Leader Dr. Nelson Morales nelson.morales@amtc.cl

Objectives The Mine Planning and Design Group aims to create know-how and technologies through the development of support tools in the area of mine planning and design that will benefit the mining industry now and in the future. The main areas of research and development range from the understanding of mining operations and the underlying geological conditions with the use

• Modeling of mining processes (scaled) for the design of mining equipment and scheduling • Numerical modeling of rock mechanics processes • Ventilation • Simulation of discrete elements within the mining systems

of numerical modeling, simulation techniques and laboratory

• Scheduling optimization for open pit and underground mining

tests, through the testing and validation of these models in the

• Modeling and optimization of production processes and

field to the development of application tools, such as, software

development of computational solutions towards field testing

packages, that will guide and support decision making within

and implementation

the mine planning and operational sectors of mining ventures.

• Software development and implementation within the geotechnical, mining, and metallurgical processes • Valuation of production sequencing and planning under

Areas of Competence


The Mine Planning and Design Group encompasses the following

• Development and implementation of sensing techniques. • Management and analysis of information systems for mining

areas of competence: • Establishment of guidelines for the design and operation of


underground mines • Statistical analysis of operational data • Numerical Modeling of Caving and Gravity Flow phenomena • Applied Geotechnology

The research and developments conducted by the Group are applied across the entire value chain of mining ventures, including the use of technologies in mining operation in medium to large scale operations, both in open-pit and underground mines.

- 44 -

Development of material flow simulation tools; Syscave and

• Development of software package for mining scheduling,

FlowSimsoftware packages, which allow modeling and prediction

UDESS, with underground mining application encompassing

of the sequence and method of extraction in mining production

construction activities and optimal extraction.

plans of Block/Panel Caving. These software tools have been

• Establishment of methodologies for integrated mine planning

applied at industrial-scale operations, for instance, towards the

incorporating variability and uncertainty within the analysis

development of the extraction sequence at Chuquicamata

that allows the generation of robust and reliable mine plans

Underground Project.

with high probability of return on investment. •

• Development of methodology and software algorithms for

Modeling of operational, geological and market uncertainties towards long-term planning and strategic development as well

the determination of mesh extraction Block/Panel Caving

as development of software tools for assessing uncertainties

based on statistical analysis of historical data from mine

and variability for rapid analysis of impact of variability on

block/panel caving operations. This methodology was applied

mining plans.

in the design of new mine level at El Teniente Mine. • Establishment of methodologies for the study of caving

The Group´s knowledge, expertise and technologies have been

phenomenon in mine processes validated through laboratory

employed in various industrial projects with CODELCO, Agnico

up to pilot-scale testing (scale and numerical modeling).

Eagle and BHP Billiton.

• Development of software algorithms for short- and medium-term mine planning, BOS2M, that integrates operational and material blending restrictions and aims to integrate the extraction, geology and metallurgy into the planning process.

- 45 -

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



Development and Integration of Information and Instrumentation Systems towards Modeling of Mining Processes and Operational Planning in Mining Ventures

Research Line Leader Ing. Alejandro Ehrenfeld alejandro.ehrenfeld@amtc.cl

Objectives The objective of this initiative include:

R&D pathways were defined and created in the areas of:

• Development, modeling and simulation of information

• Design and construction of an intelligent tracking system for

systems for intelligent decision support at various levels of

gravitational flow of the material within large underground

mine planning and operation.

mines. The main function of this system is to enable tracking

• Generation and calibration of models of various operational

of mineral-related data using Inertial Navigation Systems.

processes related to the material extraction in surface and

• Development of methodologies and real-time application of

underground mine based on data fusion, novel sensors and

sensing techniques to enable detection and quantification

innovative sensing techniques.

(grade) of minerals utilising hyperspectral cameras, lasers and

• Development of operational framework and control models to enable optimization of material blending processes and recovery factor within mine operations.

other sensors. This initiative was funded by FONDEF-IDeA in September, 2013. • Conceptualisation and design of a Virtual Planning Room to improve short- and long-term mine planning activities through the improvements in information availability, increased capacity


for data processing, analysis and visualisation and high level of engagement among team members. This initiative was

In 2012, a survey of new technologies and information system existing within the large mining operations in Chile and worldwide was undertaken to inform the future R&D path of this project.

- 46 -

funded by CORFO-INNOVA Line 1 Fund in January, 2013.

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results • Design and commissioning of a scaled model of an auto-

The following outcomes and benefits are expected for the

nomous, continuous (conveyor belt) underground mining

Mining Industry:

system, with CODELCO as a partner, which will provide • Creation of a laboratory-scale model of the intelligent tracking

better understanding of mining processes and enable future

system, which will provide an ideal platform for collection of

conversion of mechanized mines into remotely controlled

experimental data towards calibration of numerical simulation

or automated mines.

tools and their subsequent use towards enhanced mine planning tools.


• Design and development of an integrated mine system based on data fusion, novel sensors and sensing techniques, with modular architecture, which will enable rapid data collection


and transfer from mine operations (in-pit data) to mine

Innova Chile - CORFO

plans (site office).


- 47 -


Development of a Water-Mud Flow Simulator for Underground Caving Operations (Mudflow)

Research Line Leader Dr. Raúl Castro raul.castro@amtc.cl



In underground mining it is vital to ensure both safety of the

The project methodology includes the development of the

personnel and the continuous extraction of reserves. One of the

following models:

problems the underground mines must address is the sudden entry of mud, a mixture of fine material and water, into the pro-

• Hydrogeological Model: the aim of this model is to cate-

duction levels and ore passes. The impact of the mud rush into

gorize the behaviour of water inlets and outlets within the

the mine can be divided into two areas: personnel safety and

underground mine, the main flows, the flow at the inlet and

business value. The significance of the former is reinforced by

outlet as well as the flow´s relation to the production areas

several fatalities that occurred in the past due to the mud entry

of the mine.

into the mine. The importance of the latter, which also includes

• Geotechnical Model: this model seeks to explain the geo-

precluding the personnel from exposure to risk, is underpinned

technical phenomena and conditions that might trigger the

by a significant percentage of resources excluded from extraction

mud flow event. Based on geotechnical testing of various

due to high risk of potential mud flow at some extraction points.

conditions, the effect of stress on the material can be deter-

The objective of this project is to develop a simulation tool for

mined. The result will be a cause-effect model of conditions

the flow of muddy water towards identifying potential areas of

that could lead to mud flow events.

mud burst, which might threaten mining reserves and safety of workers, and to provide input towards safe and profitable mining operation and realistic production plans.

• Flow Model in Saturated Conditions: this model aims to determine how different mining variables are affected when bursts of water-mud occur. By constructing a model of ore flow and analysing the various variables, the behavior of material with mud characteristics under different extraction scenarios will be studied.

- 48 -

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results The three models: hydrogeological, geotechnical, and in saturated

zones containing clay within the mine. The software will also be

conditions, will serve as the theoretical basis for the implemen-

able to quantify the extractable mineral reserves that could be

tation of the mud flow simulator., through the understanding of

compromised by the anticipated inflow of the mud.

the mud rush phenomenon into extraction points. The simulator model will be based on cellular automata or equivalent technique,


which will simulate the movement of materials due to mineral extraction that incorporates the results of the research produced

Innova Chile- CORFO

by the previous stages (flow modeling). The simulation software will be developed based on the outco-


mes of time studies of hydrogeological and geotechnical data as well as information gathered from the extraction of potential


- 49 -


Development of Design Tools for Selective Underground Mining

Research Line Leader Dr. Javier Vallejos javier.vallejos@amtc.cl



Currently, one of the main challenges of the mining industry is

The research and development of the project considers the

the safety of their operations while considering a high return

following working steps:

value on the investment. Selective underground mining, the third most productive sector in Chile, would provide the industry with the means to achieve safety and productivity targets while minimising the costs of the operations. Selective mining refers to the operations that can “choose” the geometry and sequence in which mineral resources are extracted. To be effective, selective underground mining should have a low level of dilution and high recovery of mineral reserves. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop design tools for selective underground mining that reflects the geological and mining conditions at the Chilean mines. These tools will be encapsulated in a prototype, pre-commercial software package.

- 50 -

• Collection of data from mining operations and generation of the database. • Statistical analysis of the database and development of empirical methods for design. • Numerical modeling of selective mining operations. • Validation of the design tools by mine-scale tests.

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



The following outcomes and benefits are expected for the

Innova Chile - CORFO

Mining Industry:

Minera Ojos del Salado

• Operational benchmark of practices employed by open


stope mines in Chile. • Database of geotechnical, geological and mining information.

El Soldado – Anglo American

• Numerical models of underground selective mining operations .

Minera Ojos del Salado - Freeport

• Prototype, pre-commercial software package for the design

Minera Florida – Yamana Gold

of stopes and pillars, validated in the field.

Minera Carola – Carola El Peñon – Yamana Gold

- 51 -


Holistic and Robust Mine Planning

Research Line Leader Dr. Nelson Morales nelson.morales@amtc.cl

Objective The goal of this initiative is the development of planning tools

The main research and development lines are:

that support the mine planning through the holistic approach: an integration of various aspects of mine planning enhanced by the latest advances in technology and software algorithms. The integration is applied to the stages of the mine planning process which are discrete today (plans that have a suboptimal value or are infeasible) but also incorporating variability and uncertainty within the planning process itself (and not only as a post analysis). The final result will then be plans that are coherent at the different mine planning level and horizons, while maximizing their probability of success and robustness.

• Benchmarking of commercial software as well as new models and techniques available in the academia. • Using mathematical optimization and simulation techniques to approach mine planning problems. • Implementation of algorithm and software development towards industrial use. • Technology transfer of the developed tools and models to the mining and service industry.



The methodology is based on a continuous study and re-eva-

The main results in this area correspond to the development

luation of mine planning models and practices as well as on

of two mine planning software packages (Copyright owned by

perpetual integration of state-of-the-art tools in models and

the University of Chile):

algorithms with applicability to mine planning. • BOS2M: An open-pit scheduler that integrates accessibility This methodology will provide a platform for determining oppor-

and processing constraints, providing computational support

tunities for improvement and generating the tools that solve

for a Geological Metallurgical Mine Planning. • UDESS: A mining activity scheduler, oriented towards

ongoing and new problems.

underground mining, that allows integration of the mine developments planning and production simultaneously, generating coherent mine development–production plans, while maximazing the value of the business.

- 52 -

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

At a conceptual level, the group has obtained different results

In addition, this initiative has allowed the development of va-

in the following areas:

rious mine planning tools at different levels (from strategic to short- term) that has been tested and validated at several mines,

• Computation of final pit and pit scheduling considering

including operations of BHP Billiton, CODELCO and Anglo Ame-

operational areas

rican. These tools were presented at international conferences including MININ, APCOM, MinePlanning, and MassMin.

• Optimization of open-pit scheduling incorporating accessibility constraints (ramps, operational areas). • Optimization of open-pit scheduling integrating environ-


mental constraints, such as, re-handling and minimization of crushing energy.

BHP Billiton

• Construction of mine plans considering market and geolo-


gical uncertainty (example: application of realistic options to


optimize fleet size and project timing).

- 53 -




Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy

During mining operations several types of

subdivided into four main areas: mineral

minerals are extracted, some of them of

processing, hydrometallurgical processes,

commercial value, usually the least abun-

pyro-metallurgical, and electrometallur-

dant, and others, relatively less valuable

gical procedures and processes. Each of

or worthless. The extractive metallurgy

these areas faces increasingly complex

is the set of processes that are carried

challenges as a result of the decline in

out to selectively separate the species

declared deposits, existence of “penalized�

of interest from those without value. In

elements and increasingly demanding

general terms, these processes can be

environmental regulations.

- 54 -

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

- 55 -


Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy


Group Leader Dr. Willy Kracht willy.kracht@amtc.cl

Introduction Minerals extracted in a mining operation can be characterized in

and/or recovery improvements of valuable elements from the

terms of their relative value as ore and gangue. Extractive mineral

available resources.

processing and metallurgy correspond to a series of processes that allow selective separation between ore and gangue. There

To address the challenges associated with mineral processing and

are four areas of R&D undertaken within the Mineral Processing

extractive metallurgy, the Group´s expertise is complemented by

and Extractive Metallurgy Group: mineral processing, hydrome-

researchers from other Groups in areas as diverse as stochastic

tallurgy, electrometallurgy and pyro-metallurgy.

modeling, image analysis, supercomputing and process control.

Nowadays, extractive metallurgy faces lower-grade ores, more complex ores with refractory phases and/or penalty elements,

Areas of Competence

and severe environmental regulations. All this translates into the need for active research and development, which requires

The areas of competence of the Group include:

qualified human resources and appropriate facilities to undertake • Geo-metallurgy

experimental R&D.

• Physical-chemistry of surfaces and interfaces • Transport phenomena


• Electrochemistry

The Group´s objective is to contribute to the generation of

• Corrosion

knowledge in the areas of mineral processing and extractive

• Flotation

metallurgy as well as to develop procedures and technologies

• Hydrometallurgy and bio-hydrometallurgy

that would allow efficiency improvements of current processes

• Pyro-metallurgy

- 56 -

recognized, is the participation in two FONDECYT projects and

• Residues processing and handling

one applied project (R&D) funded by CORFO (Corporation to Foster Productivity). The Group participated in teaching courses

• Metals recycling

of continuous formation and as part of the Graduate Diploma in

• Intelligent materials

geo-metallurgy. The Group of Mineral Processing and Extractive

• Process control

Metallurgy has also strengthen its collaboration with local and

• Process modeling

foreign universities through participation in conferences (AMTC

• Optimization of process operation

researcher presented at Tokyo University) and through receiving visitors from McGill University (Canada) and from the Northern Catholic University (Chile). In collaboration with the latter, the Group presented a paper at the 12th Bi-National Conference


on Metallurgy and Materials (Chile-Argentina), Conamet/SAM The Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy research was

2012. In addition, the Group plays an important role in the or-

recognized as separate R&D Group within the AMTC in 2012.

ganization and editorial committees of the International Mineral

Before 2012, this expertise was associated with other groups

Processing Conference (PROCEMIN 2012). Other achievements

within the Centre. During 2012, the Group had only three

include: guidance of six undergraduate/graduate theses and

participants, whose research interests covered the different

contribution to the book “Noble Metals”, edited by Dr. Yen-Hsun

areas of extractive metallurgy and mineral processing, with

Su, Intech, with the chapter entitled “Distribution of precious

emphasis on flotation, pyro-metallurgy, and hydrometallurgy.

metals during the reduction of pyrometallurgical processes of

Among the achievements of the Group, after being formally

complex copper materials”.

- 57 -

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

• Non-ferrous extractive metallurgy



Research Line Leader Dr. Tomás Vargas tomas.vargas@amtc.cl

OBJECTIVE With the increase in copper demand, the continuous decrease

The project will establish the technical and economical basis,

of mineral grades and the sustained increase of energy costs

together with the experimental and conceptual tools, for assessing

associated with extraction and comminution, the in-situ leaching

and optimizing the extraction of copper by application of in-situ

of copper minerals is becoming a more attractive technological

bioleaching technologies.

alternative from economical and environmental perspectives. In-situ leaching presents, in principle, great advantages in operating costs compared to other leaching methods as, in this case,


the ore is directly treated without extraction, minimizing the cost of mining and comminution. However, its application is to-date

The methodology of the project considers an integrated approach

limited as with its current state of development copper recoveries

to the in-situ leaching process which incorporates the study of

with this technology are expected to be much lower than those

aspects related to underground mining, in-situ fragmentation,

obtained with leaching in heaps and dumps. In addition, it is

fluid dynamic aspects of air and solution flow in the ore bed and

important to consider that in this process, there is no adequate

bioleaching mechanisms, which are key for the innovation of the

technological approach for the confinement of leaching solutions

process. From this perspective, the working team integrates the

to fully control risk of any environmental contamination.

collaboration of Principal Investigators from the Mine Planning and Design Group, Dr. Raúl Castro, expert on Mining Design;

The aim of this project is to establish at AMTC a key area for the

the Water and Sustainability Group, Dr. Christian Ihle, expert in

development of advanced approaches for the mining industry,

Fluid Dynamics; the Minerals Processing and Extractive Metallurgy

in this case, based on the in-situ bioleaching of sulphide ores.

Group, Dr. Tomás Vargas, expert in bioleaching.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

RESULTS • Modeling and assessment of the impact of natural and forced

The project development will focus on the following areas:

air convection on the process efficiency. • Assessment of the economic potential of application of

• Study of the mechanism of solution infiltration in the mineral

in-situ bioleaching to ore bodies of different characteristics.

rock and its influence on copper leaching rate.

• Study of the in-situ fragmentation and extraction of rocks

• Optimization of chemical and biological mechanisms in the

aimed at optimizing the ore bed permeability.

in-situ bioleaching of chalcopyrite.

• Characterization, control, and optimization of solution flow patterns in fragmented ore bodies.


• Development of methodologies for the control of discharge of solutions to the environment.


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New Continuous Converting ENAMI Process, CCE, of Copper Matte to Blister

Research Line Co-Leader

Research Line Co-Leader

Dr. Leandro Voisin

Daniel Smith, EMAMI


Objective The objective of this project is to, firstly, carry out testing of

develop engineering requirements for the new plant as well

the Continuous Converting ENAMI technology, CCE, of copper

as implement the technology towards the industrial pilot tests.

matte to blister using packed bed reactor on an industrial-pilot

Moreover, the company Buildtek SA, which participated in the

scale plant to corroborate the promising results obtained from

design and construction of the previous plant, will also participate

laboratory scale tests. Subsequently, it is proposed to optimize

in this development.

operational parameters and maximize the treatment capacity of the pilot-industrial plant, which will provide the basis for an

In general, the project consists of five major areas of R&D:

industrial-scale application. In the final stage, the process and the technology will be commercialized, generating a progressive

• Requirements Analysis and e-Engineering Design

replacement of the current, operationally complex, high-pollution

• Industrial Data Collection

and high-cost technologies, such as, batch type denominated CPS, Peirce Smith Converter.

• Development of laboratory scale tests, under two MSc theses:

“Oxidation Kinetics of Continuous Converting of Copper Matte and Distribution of Impurities in Packed Bed Reactor”, and


“Thermo-Fluid-Dynamics Modeling, TCFD, of the ENAMI´s Continuous Converting Process, CCE, of Copper Matte in

The development of the industrial scale pilot version of the technology will involve ENAMI and the AMTC at the University of Chile through its Extractive Metallurgy Group, which will

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Packed Bed Reactor” • Development of the process control system • Engineering development and pilot-industrial scale test

Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results To-date, the Requirements Analysis, the Engineering Design

This places the CCE technology as economically viable and novel

and the Industrial Data Collection have been completed. The

alternative for the continuous production of Blister copper for

outcomes from one of the two theses were diffused in four

the industry.

scientific publications concluding the following:


• CCE Technology under its worst investigative scenario presented a treatment capacity four times higher than that


obtained from a conventional CPS reactor.


• From an environmental standpoint, the simplicity of the new design facilitates the uptake of the exhaust gases, avoiding the generation of large fugitive volumes and allowing the control


of SO2 in a continuous manner under stable concentration, improving the efficiency of the acid plant.

Universidad de Chile

• The results were satisfactory in terms of both the quality of


the obtained Blister and the environmental implications with

Buildtek Industrial Technologies S.A.

regard to the removal of impurities of As, Sb, Pb and Zn. • CEE technology has lower capital cost than the existing technologies.

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Research Line Leader Dr. Tomás Vargas tomas.vargas@amtc.cl



To develop a process for the recovery of phosphorous from

The project will investigate the behaviour of mesophylls, mode-

several phosphate ore tailing of Vale S.A. in Brazil, based on the

rate and extreme thermophiles microorganisms with the aim of

application of bioleaching with autotrophic microorganisms. This

optimizing their sulfo-oxidant catalytic activity in leaching solutions

type of microorganisms is convenient to use in mining environ-

obtained from the treatment of phosphate mineral tailings. For

ments as they can use CO2 or carbonates in the rock as a source

this purpose, different molecular techniques – such as PCR,

of carbon for their growth, which renders the addition of organic

tRFLP, Dapi and CAR FISH – will be combined to characterize

substrates unnecessary. In addition, bioleaching processes with

and monitor the growth and type of oxidative activity of several

these microorganisms can be implemented using bioleaching

microorganisms at different temperatures. Kinetic aspects of the

in heaps, which is a technology of low cost and easy operation,

leaching of different phosphate ore tailings will be determined

with possibilities of economic exploitation of low grade mineral

from monitoring of ions in solution, while morphological, mi-

resources. This project opens a great potential for AMTC to

neralogical and crystallographic aspects involved in the mineral

contribute to the expansion of the application of bioleaching

decomposition will be characterized using techniques such as

into the field of non-metallic.

mineralogical analysis, XRD, Rietveld, Raman, SEM-EDAX and TEM.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



The results of this project will help to define the microorganisms,

Vale S.A.

operating temperature and physico-chemical solution conditions, which will enable to optimize the oxidative activity of the mi-


croorganisms and the leaching ability of the different phosphate mineral tailings. Accordingly, it will be possible to define the

Vale S.A.

necessary steps of the process and their respective conditions to optimize the recovery and leaching rate of phosphorous from the various mineral sources considered.

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Development of instrumentation to characterize gas dispersion in flotation

Research Line Leader Dr. Willy Kracht willy.kracht@amtc.cl

Objective The objective of this research line is to develop new instrumenta-

bble size distribution in flotation are undertaken using empirical

tion for measuring and characterizing gas dispersion in flotation.

models and/or image-analysis methods.

One of the specific objectives is developing a continuous sensor for determining bubble size distribution in flotation cells, which

The image-analysis methods are discontinuous and labour

would allow this variable to be considered as a process variable,

intensive, which makes measuring of bubble size usable only

improving the control of flotation processes available nowadays.

for diagnosis purposes and is not applicable towards process evaluation on a continuous basis.


The principle of operation of the continuous sensor for measuring bubble size in this research line is based on the study of

The developments are based on using acoustic measurements

the characteristic frequency that bubbles emit when they are

as a tool for characterizing heterogeneous processes such as

excited by an ultrasound source. The signal recorded is analysed

flotation. Currently, the measurement and/or estimation of bu-

in order to yield bubble size distribution. The measurements and analysis can be done continuously.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



The sensor for measuring bubble size distribution is in a proto-


type stage of development. Experiments have shown very good

Innova Chile-CORFO

results when compared to image analysis. The prototype will be

IAL Ltda.

tested under industrial conditions in the near future. Currently, Intellectual Property Rights are being assessed. Subsequently, the


technology will be commercialized and transferred to the industry.

Sociedad de Inversiones y Servicios IAL Ltda.

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The use of digital processing tools in data

persons, failures and measurements of

and images, the development of new

quality, among other tasks. However, the

methods and technologies for pattern

positive effects on the production rise and

recognition in mining related problems

cost reduction of the automation in mining

and the suitable employment of auto-

will be of low impact if the necessary

mation technologies in mining industry,

energy resources are not available. Energy

allow important production increases,

demand in mining and metal processes

cost reductions, increases in operation

continuously increases forcing mining

continuity and improvements in safety

companies to have powerful and efficient

and health labor. They make possible the

electrical networks in order to improve

recognition of patterns, objects, defaults,

the stages of their processes.

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

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Automation in mining

Group Leader Dr. Manuel Duarte manuel.duarte@amtc.cl

Objective The proper use of automation technologies, instrumentation

Finally, the Group develops and transfers the technology for

and decision making in the mining industry allows obtaining

the energy generation based on clean and renewable energy.

increased productivity, lower costs, increased business continuity,

Efforts are being made to improve the energy efficiency of the

more efficient use of energy, reduction in pollution associated

different stages of the mining process using advanced control

with mining, and improvement of work health and safety. In this

techniques and computational intelligence.

context, the main objective of this Group is to transfer research and development results that have been carried out in recent

The research team comprises eleven scientists and fifteen PhD

years in the fields of automation, robotics, semiconductor and

students. Its main resources comprise laboratories of robotics,

sensor technologies, pattern recognition, image processing and

automation, control systems, computer vision, image proces-

sensor networks and data to the mining productive sector as well

sing, computational intelligence and mechatronics, equipped

as to assist in developing the next generation of mining systems

with latest generation of sensors and systems and with mobile

through the design and construction of environmentally friendly

robots of various kinds.

equipment and intelligent systems. The Group covers the areas of tele-operation and automation

Area of competence

of vehicles and mobile mining equipment, fault detection and predictive maintenance of equipment, the development of

Some of the Group competence areas include conducting applied

technologies for 3D mapping and modeling of tunnels, blocks

research, technology transfer and formation of world class pro-

and mining environments and the development of collaborative

fessionals in the use of automation and robotics technologies

systems in which autonomous machines, tele-operated machines

in mining. Its main areas of expertise are:

and human operators interact efficiently and safely. • Automation, tele-operation and robotizing of mobile mining The Group also develops advanced techniques of pattern

equipment and vehicles. It includes the construction of

recognition and image analysis that allow addressing relevant

mobile robot control libraries and general purpose vehicles,

problems associated with mining, such as, identification of peo-

the development of mobile vehicle simulators, the robotic

ple and objects, fault defection, quality control and automated

of commercial vehicles and, finally, the tele-operation and

monitoring, recognition of rock types through 2D and 3D images

automation of mobile mining equipment.

and determination of particle size, among others.

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

• UAV Development (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology

systems and the energy recovery from mineral slurry lines,

for mining applications, such as, exploration of geo-resources

in addition to the optimization of electrical mining system.

(minerals, water) magnetic and topographic inspection, 3D

• Design and implementation of fault detection schemes and

modeling of embankments and environmental measurements,

prediction of critical conditions in mining machinery in order

especially in land with complex topography, such as, inside

to facilitate monitoring and reduction of maintenance costs

underground mines and blocks.

through the implementation of predictive strategies and to

• Application of technologies for sensing, data acquisition and

ensure operational continuity in the process.

decision making in real time in underground and open pit mines in order to increase security levels, improve operating


and mine planning processes, track people, equipment and materials, and to validate physical models that result in better mining designs.

The application areas are diverse:

• Development of technologies to ensure productivity under optimal occupational health and safety conditions to avoid loss

• Automation of vehicles and mobile mining machinery.

of continuity in mining operation produced by occupational

• Development of driver assistance systems.

accidents or human failures in decision-making operator tasks.

• Application of UAV technology to exploration, inspection 3D

• Design and implementation of efficient methods for pattern

modeling tasks.

recognition applied to relevant problems in mining, such as,

• Development of real time sensing and decision making

recognition of rock types (lithologies), particle size determi-

systems for underground and open pit mines.

nation, granulometry determination, detection of defects

• Systems for the determination of lithological composition to

in machinery, tools or products, non-contact measurement

improve operating processes.

of parts and materials, counting of people and vehicles,

• Estimation of mineral particle size and bubble size in flo-

monitoring for prevention of workers-machine interaction

tation cells.

accidents, protection of plant restricted access areas, and

• Detection of defects in machinery (fault detection) or pro-

access control using facial biometric or iris identification.

ducts (quality control).

• Development of methods and techniques for the efficient

• Accident prevention by monitoring interaction between

use of energy in mining processes. Among the problems

machines and workers.

addressed is the development of magnetic induction heating

• Personnel security systems using biometric identification and people counting.

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• Heating systems for fluids in bioleaching processes and electro-winning in mining

In the field of technological development, the Group has the following achievements:

• Energy recovery systems from pipelines that transport ore pulp • Optimization of power systems in mining, under disturbances and generated harmonics.

• Automation of a real size vehicle (Volkswagen Tiguan), with instrumentation and tele-operation is completed. Next step is the autonomous driving in open pit mine environments (2014). • Implementation and experimental validation of multi-rotor


aerial platforms and of a UAV platform designed and built

The establishment of a world class research team, which has

in Chile.

established itself as the most important in Latin America in the

• Design and construction of a induction heating equipment

field of automation and robotics in mining. Its researchers have

at semi-industrial (500 kW) level, tested on the ground at

published more than 100 research papers in the highly respected

Los Bronzes mine (property of Anglo American Chile). Pa-

worldwide journals in the field of automation, robotics and pattern

tent applications associated with this equipment have been

recognition. The Group has received three international awards

presented in Chile (No. 01053) and internationally (PCT/

for innovation, applied for patents in Chile and USA, registered


software licenses and developed R&D projects in automation

• Development of systems for sensing and decision making for

and robotic fields in Germany, Chile, Colombia and Singapore.

mining of small and medium size, which have been validated

Moreover, the group has established cooperative agreements

in mining operations in Chile and Colombia.

or memoranda of understanding with important national and international institutions to develop R&D initiatives in the areas of robotics and automation. In the field of advanced human capital development, the Group researchers have trained 15 PhDs in engineering, 25 Masters´ in engineering and over 120 civil engineers.

• Development of software for moving face recognition in real time (FACEREC) and for people counting and detection of moving objects (BEHAV), which have been registered in Chile and for which application have been made for patents in the U.S. and in Chile. • Development of a prototype for moisture measurement in bio lixiviation using mobile thermal cameras. • Development of monitoring and prediction of state-of-health and state-of-charge of lithium-ion batteries.

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

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Tele-Operation and Automation of Mining Vehicles and Machineries

Research Line Leader Dr. Javier Ruiz del Solar javier.ruizdelsolar@amtc.cl



The objective of this initiative is to develop technologies related

In the short and medium term, the aim is to gather knowledge

to the automation and tele-operation of mining vehicles and

in the automation and tele-operation of vehicles, which will be

machinery. The proper use of these technologies allows for the

transferred to the mining industry and its suppliers through the

increase in production, the lowering of costs, the improvements

execution of joint projects and the gradual insertion of highly

in the operational continuity, and the enhancements in safety

specialized personnel.

and occupational health. This initiative is vital because automation and tele-operation allow operators to avoid exposures to

The first challenge addressed by the group is the development

hazardous tasks and harsh environments (such as heat, dust,

of an autonomous commercial vehicle (Volkswagen Tiguan).

contaminants, snow, and others).

The vehicle automation has been developed in several stages. These include system integration for its instrumentation, measu-

There have been a number of advances in achieving this objec-

rement, actuation, decision making, computational intelligence,

tive through the automation of a real-size ground vehicle, the

and tele-operation. The ultimate aim is to provide the vehicle

tele-operation of a Load-Haul-Dump (LHD) scaled model, and

with the ability to navigate autonomously in an open pit mine

the transfer of knowledge to CODELCO for supporting projects

environment. The methodology development steps require an

currently in execution in the corporation. Furthermore, at the

increasing level of autonomy for the vehicle, commencing with

end of 2013, the execution of a project to automate the LHD

tele-operation, followed by autonomous obstacle avoidance,

loading process will commence.

autonomous navigation in simple outdoor environments and, finally, autonomous navigation in open pit mine environments.

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Research Line

tele-operated in real outdoor environments and controlled over

for remote control. Additionally, the vehicle is able to build

a range of several hundred meters. In addition, the vehicle is

three-dimensional maps of the environment and detect dirt

capable of generating three-dimensional representations of

roads and obstacles autonomously. These capabilities have

the environment and detecting obstacles and the current track.

been tested in real outdoor environments (the Laguna CarĂŠn

These capabilities and the ability to follow tracks in outdoor

site of Universidad de Chile). The validation of the autonomous

environments will be validated at the end of 2013. Additionally,

obstacle avoidance and track following modules are currently

the development of this project has allowed 3 PhD students and

being performed.

4 MsC students to complete their theses in this area.

A second challenge has been the construction of a scaled te-

Since the end of 2012, there has been joint collaboration with

le-operated LHD (1:5 scale). This platform is being used in the

CODELCO, supporting some of their initiatives in automation and

development of more intuitive and immersive operation-interfaces

tele-operation of equipment. A survey of existing technologies

for vehicle control in mining environments. The technologies

for semi-autonomous LHD and their projections in the short-

being developed include haptic interfaces (with feedback from

and medium- term has been conducted. Based on the results

the physical interaction with the environment), augmented reality

of this project, a proposal for a technology standard is being

(to allow measurements to be superimposed on a real world

generated. This will define the requirements that LHDs should

visualization) and brain-computer interfaces (for a more intuitive

meet for new underground mining structural projects of CODEL-

operation, requiring less training in real operations).

CO. Furthermore, a project to support the Autonomous Mining in Open-Pit Mines initiative is also commencing. This initiative

The third challenge is the development of an autonomous LHD

aims to generate an autonomous/tele-operated production unit

loading system for operating with material of varying granularity,

consisting of 3 heavy machineries for operating in low visibility

which are found at the extraction points of the block caving mining

conditions. This work intends to support CODELCO in all the

operations. The system will be able to continuously estimate

technological evaluations as well as the definition of test trials,

the interaction between the LHD (mainly its bucket) and the

standards and future requirements.

material, adaptively controlling the optimums trajectory of the bucket to maximize the load. Consequently, the operation risk

Finally, the Group is completing the design of a Graduate Di-

is minimized and the machine wear is lowered. To achieve this,

ploma Program aimed at training highly qualified personnel in

the system will use online information of the vehicle state (for

the field of vehicle tele-operation and automation. This diploma

example, hydraulic pressure) and of the material to be loaded

will be offered in 2014.

(for instance, its granularity). The resulting system will be validated first on a scaled LHD and, subsequently, on a full-scale LHD.

Funding Results


Since 2011, the automation of a commercial vehicle (Volkswagen Tiguan) has been on-going and its instrumentation and


tele-operation has been completed. The equipment has been


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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Currently, the vehicle tele-operation is fully functional, allowing


Sensing, modeling and decision making systems for mining

Research Line Leader Dr. Paul Vallejos paul.vallejos@amtc.cl

Objective The goal of this initiative is to develop and implement sensing,

Subsequently, sensor networks are deployed using the selected

data acquisition, modeling and real-time decision-making rela-

technologies. The data acquired with these systems are used to

ted technologies for the mining industry. The objective behind

feed the previously designed models. Finally, a decision-making

these systems is to provide more and better information to the

system is implemented.

decision making process (carried out by humans or autonomous systems). Consequently, the safety can be enhanced, the process efficiencies can be improved and the entire operation of the


mine and of the processing plant optimized. In this initiative, consulting projects on sensing systems have been conducted. Furthermore, there have been implementation


projects on sensing, data acquisition as well as people and objects monitoring and tracking. Specifically, the following projects

The implementation of sensing, data acquisition, modeling and

have been developed:

real-time decision-making system starts with the study of the relevant variables. They are analyzed to determine their effect on decision-making process, which allows for their prioritization.

• Survey of people and mining machinery detection technologies for El Teniente division of CODELCO.

A survey is then conducted to acquire the available sensing

• Implementation of a data acquisition system to log the con-

technologies for each relevant variable, resulting in a selection

ductivity in flotation cells. Validated in the processing plant

of existing technologies and their suppliers. Consequently, the

of Candelaria mine.

problem, along with the relationships between the measured variables and the expected results of the decision-making system, are modeled.

• Remote monitoring system through GSM networks for Entel PCS. • Wireless data network with IP telephone, people and objects tracking using 2.4Ghz tags and IP video for the MUZO underground mine in Colombia.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC


Additionally, the research and development team is currently participating in the following projects and in the preparation of proposals towards:


• Automation of a continuous mining physical model for

Candelaria mining


El Soldado mine Muzo mining

• RFID based tracking system of drill holes´ cores as a joint project with Entel. • Consulting in the selection of a proximity detection system


for the Andina division of CODELCO. • Leaching pad irrigation monitoring system using thermal images,


as a joint project with the Anglo American El Soldado mine.


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Unmanned Aerial Platforms for Mining

Research Line Leader Ing. Rodrigo Asenjo rodrigo.asenjo@amtc.cl

Objectives This initiative aims to design, build, operate and equip unman-

acquisition and a high degree of autonomy in the processing of

ned aerial vehicles (UAV) with a variety of sensors. Small and

sensor information. This research is multidisciplinary and involves

highly maneuverable platforms, such as multi-copters, have

collaboration with other research groups that include hydraulic

been developed with the objectives of performing photometry,

engineers, geophysicists and geologists.

study of slope stability, mapping, and inspection of tunnels, and gather measurements in hard-to-reach areas, such as,

Multi-copters are flying machines with similar flying characteristics

maintenance warehouses. R&D with unmanned airplanes has

to a helicopter but with more than one rotor. These platforms

been conducted by undertaking measurements of atmospheric

are very stable, maneuverable and easy to control. Their rapid

variables of interest to mining and a variety of other industries.

deployment and high payload capacity, which allows the moun-

These measurements include concentration of air pollutants

ting of different sensors, makes them useful for aerial inspection

(gases and particles), weather conditions, magnetic fields, water

tasks, three-dimensional modeling of cavities, inspection of

resources and surface geology.

large mining machines, slope stability studies, topological and environmental geo-referenced measurements, tunnel coating


material wear evaluation and difficult-to-access structures´ inspection. The platforms are operated by radio control and are

AMTC researchers have advanced expertise in sensing, signal

capable of autonomous missions by following GPS waypoints.

processing, computer vision, computational intelligence, and

Currently, under developement is a navigation system that allows

real time decision-making. This has allowed the development

a multi-copter to fly autonomously within tunnels to perform

of UAVs with a high percentage of in-house manufacturing, data

mapping and inspection tasks.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

The flight range of a multi-copter varies between 10 and 25

• Inspection and measurement with high maneuverability in

minutes, which is not always sufficient to perform specified tasks.

reduced space.

Therefore, unmanned airplanes with endurance exceeding one

• Three-dimensional modeling of objects and cavities.

hour have also been used to measure temperature, pressure and humidity for generating atmospheric models and highly

Currently, AMTC has two multi-copters with payload capacities of

accurate predictions of weather patterns.

500g and 800g and with flight autonomy of up to 15 minutes. Test flights at altitudes greater than 3000m have been successfully conducted. In the course of 2013, these platforms are being


used in the inspection and gathering of data from monitoring stations installed in glaciers and in the measurement of slope

Thanks to this initiative, the following skills and competencies

stability using images and range sensors.

have been developed: • Advising on the evaluation and selection of UAV technologies.


• Design and implementation of UAV control systems (commercial platforms or AMTC platforms).


• UAV sensing platforms (commercial and private).

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Safety Monitoring System for Workers in Mining with Automatic Learning

Research Line Leader Dr. Claudio PĂŠrez claudio.perez@amtc.cl



The safety of workers in mining operations is particularly im-

The proposed system can monitor specific areas of a mining

portant because of the many hazards that can result in loss of

plant using video cameras and image analysis software. This

life, partial disability or temporal inactivity. A safeguard measure

software is able to recognize objects (e.g., vehicles, equipment)

to improve worker´s safety and significantly reduce the costs

and individuals and detect their presence in specific areas of

associated with accidents is the use of intelligent monitoring

the mining plant. The system will generate alarms when the

using video cameras and image analysis software.

vehicles or people enter prohibited areas or interact in an undesirable manner. More specifically, this research project aims

The objective of this research project is to develop a monitoring

to automate the creation of a database with images to train and

system for the operation within the mining plant to avoid dan-

test the system, automate the parameter selection for the object

gerous interaction between vehicles and workers, thus reducing

classifier, develop an interface to mark forbidden zones and

the risks of accidents, through preventive alarm generation based

alarm scheduling, semi-automatic calibration of the geometric

on video analysis and active machine learning models.

parameters of the scene to estimate object sizes, information integration from multiple cameras and the development of an interface for the alarm information delivery.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



We are developing a multiclass classifier to detect people and


vehicles in real time with high precision. Tools are also being


developed for semi-automatic selection of examples from video to


allow training of the multiclass classifier. In addition, a method to select the training samples is being developed, reducing training


time while maintaining high classification rates. The proposed system has a large potential to be introduced in copper mining or other mining plants, in Chile or abroad. The system could be


adapted to monitor mining tunnels or to other scenarios, thereby

NEC Chile

expanding the potential application market.

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3D Modeling and Mapping of Mines

Research Line Leader Dr. Martin Adams martin.adams@amtc.cl



The reliable interpretation of sensor data in dusty, rugged terrains,

In the past decade, new technologies from the multi-source,

such as open pit and underground mines, is critical for 3D rock

multi-target research field have provided methods, which allow

surface profile estimation, volume estimation and 3D mapping

sensor data to be processed such that both the number and

in general. The objectives of this research are to address the

location of objects of interest can be estimated in a statistically

tele-operation of a vehicle carrying an array of sensors, inclu-

joint manner. This project is developing these techniques to

ding laser range finders, cameras and a scanning Millimeter

extract terrain surface profile and mine mapping information

Wave (MMW) radar. All of these devices offer unique sensing

from noisy sensor data, while taking into account probabilities

advantages and disadvantages and require careful processing

of detection, false alarms and range/bearing uncertainty. The

to extract useful environmental information and simultaneously

motion characteristics of an all-terrain vehicle, together with the

disregard clutter (returns from objects of non-interest) and noise.

noise characteristics of the radar, laser and vision based sensors,

The processing of such data, and its algorithmic combination

would be modeled in open pit and underground mines. Data

with vehicle motion estimates, is at the core of correctly mo-

fusion for various vehicle positions would then be carried out,

deling surface profiles and the mapping of mines, which are of

using the above framework, for consistent surface profile and

direct relevance to improving the safety and efficiency of mine

mine map estimation.

automation. The ultimate objective is to integrate this research into an autonomous robotic navigation framework in complex mining environments.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



An all-terrain vehicle, the Husky A200 robotic platform, has


been equipped with a scanning Millimetre Wave (MMW) radar,


a scanning laser range finder and a camera system.

Clearpath Robotics

By use of examples showing state of the art feature detectors with


these sensors, common sensing and detection errors have been highlighted, motivating the need for a re-evaluation of stochastic,

Clearpath Robotics

feature-based robotic navigation and mapping concepts, which jointly consider sensing and detection errors. This project is in its initial phase and future experiments will take place with the robotic system in underground and open pit mines. These experiments will explore the potential for reliable mapping with the sensor data provided by the system.

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Rock Lithology Recognition Using Digital Image Analysis

Research Line Leader Dr. Claudio PĂŠrez claudio.perez@amtc.cl

Objective Develop a system to classify lithological composition of rocks in

cation to recognize rocks´ lithology in real time. Computational

real time using digital image processing techniques and com-

intelligence techniques will be employed to improve the pattern

putational intelligence methods. Features are extracted from

recognition methodology. Images from laser triangulation will

digital images of rocks and are used to classify them in different

be used to extract 3D information from the rocks. From the

lithological classes. Using a laser beam, depth information will be

images, several features will be extracted including geometric,

obtained and shape features will be extracted. The information

color, texture and 3D features. These features will be used as

about rock type could be used to optimize the grinding process

inputs to a classifier to determine the lithological class. The

by reducing the energy required. The system could also be used

method incorporates strategies based on information theory

to divert low grade material outside the grinding process.

for learning and evolutionary algorithms to improve the feature selection that provide information to separate different lithological classes. Additionally, a classifier module is being designed


to integrate models based on neural networks, support vector machines (SVM ), Adaboost, fuzzy classifiers, decision trees or

The research will be performed using available databases with

their combinations. For determining depth information, a range

images from different lithological classes and a new database

sensor will be employed. Information obtained from the range

will be created with rocks from a mining plant. New algorithms

sensor will be fused with the information from the digital images

will be developed for feature extraction, selection and classifi-

to improve classification rates.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



Tests have been conducted with a database of rocks from a


Canadian nickel mine using our new methodological innova-


tions and we have compared our results with those previously


published on the same database. Significant improvements on the classification rates have been reached. Results have also


been obtained with a database from a copper mine database. In the coming months, we will acquire a new database using


laser triangulation to extract 3D features from the rocks.

NEC Chile

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Process Supervision and Predictive Maintenance

Research Line Leader Dr. Marcos Orchard marcos.orchard@amtc.cl



The development of fault diagnosis and failure prognosis sche-

The first stage of this initiative focuses on the development of

mes for mining equipment has become topic of paramount

data pre-processing tools to generate condition indicators for

importance due to increase in economic impact associated with

mining equipment and to develop sensor fusion modules; the

system reliability and cost effective operation of critical assets.

latter enabling the establishment of the condition indicators

These schemes aim to characterize the evolution of incipient fault

(CI) for the mining equipment. The indicators are essential for

conditions and to estimate (in real-time) the remaining useful

the implementation of virtual sensors for machinery monitoring

life (RUL) of equipment to facilitate their supervision, reduce

and the creation of predictive models (during a second stage),

maintenance costs through predictive strategy implementation,

which would provide basis to establish structures to characterize

and ensure process continuity, based on sources of uncertainty

the uncertainty/risk of the system. The third stage will focus on

associated with the use or the operation of the equipment. The

the integration of the indicators, risk models, probabilistic cha-

special interest areas associated with wear and corrosion in

racterization of future usage profiles, and prognostic algorithms

conveyor belt, crushers, SAG mills, electric motors, gearboxes,

based on sequential Monte Carlo methods to provide tangible

bearings and mobile mining equipment (trucks, LHDs, impact

means to estimate the probability of failure of critical equipment


as a function of time. As a result, it will not only be possible to estimate the remaining useful life and quantify mechanical mining equipment availability in real time but also to optimize preventive maintenance plans transforming them into full-predictive maintenance approaches.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results The characterization of the set of critical parameters that affect

by the ESD, providing a measure of the remnant energy in the

the performance and life cycle of energy storage devices (ESD),

system. The module allows estimation of the current state of

particularly lithium-ion batteries, is an issue that has special re-

the parameters and prediction of their degradation based on a

levance today. This is motivated primarily by the impact these

characterization of future use profiles.

parameters have on the design of optimization strategies for renewable energy resources as well as the recently experienced


development of technological goods and electric vehicles in the industry. Thus, in a joint effort with the Lithium Innovation Center at the University of Chile, we have successfully developed


monitoring and prognostic modules for the state-of-health and

Centro de Innovaci贸n del Litio

state-of-charge of lithium-ion batteries. The first of these two parameters directly affects the number of charge/discharge cycles


available before degradation and subsequent decision on battery replacement/recycling. The second parameter, the state-of-charge,

Centro de Innovaci贸n del Litio

determines the autonomy level of the system being energized

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Inductive Heating Solutions for Mining

Research Line Leader Dr. Manuel Duarte manuel.duarte@amtc.cl



The objective of this project is to design and build more efficient

The methodology used in the development of the project is

heating systems using magnetic induction solutions with applica-

embedded in the design of a medium frequency source that

tions in bioleaching processes and electro-winning at height. The

generates a magnetic field, a magnetic susceptor cellular to enable

main advantages of the proposed heating system, compared to

heat transfer, the fluid in which the source is immersed, the caloric

others, are: the lack of combustion and hot spots, higher power

energy coming from the magnetic field and an adaptive control

density, reduced maintenance, high controllability (effective

system, with robust temperature control for the entire system.

control system), higher efficiency (independent of height) and

During the project development phase, we studied in depth

no requirement for ponds for passing heating system.

the main aspects of the proposed solution, including: power electronics, hydrometallurgy and bioleaching, thermal transfer,

In the long term, we plan to guide research and development in

automatic control, electromagnetic compatibility, biological im-

the design and manufacturing of induction heating equipment for

pacts and technical and economic requirements.

other applications, including: replacement of boilers and water heaters in the industrial, commercial and residential sector as

To evaluate the proposed solution, inductive system models

well as development of efficient heating and hot water systems

have been developed and their dynamic behavior was simulated.

in buildings and housing.

Subsequently, we constructed a 30 kW laboratory scale prototype of the system, which allowed us to validate the simulations and obtain significant practical conclusions. In the next step, we proceeded to design and build a prototype at a semi-industrial scale of 500 kW, which was evaluated and operated at the plant Los Bronces of Anglo American Chile, with satisfactory results.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results The main results obtained during the project are:

We expect, to receive the necessary resources towards longterm testing team of the 500 kW equipment in order to verify

• The design and construction of a susceptor to transfer heat.

the benefits of the increased temperature on the bioleaching

• Design and construction of an inductive heating equipment

process through the field trials.

in the laboratory (30 kW), and second inductive heating equipment at a semi-industrial level (500 kW), which was


tested at the Los Bronces plant of Anglo American Chile, with efficiencies between 95% and 97%.


• Patent application in Chile No. 01053, “Inductive Heating


System Solutions Bioleaching Plants and Electro-Winning in Height”, September 30, 2010.

Partners It is also important to mention the start of international patenting process for the inductive heating equipment during 2011.

Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María IDT Anglo American Chile

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05 Water and Environmental Sustainability

Due to the nature of its activities, mining

that would enable the prevention and/or

has both direct and indirect impact on the

mitigation on the impacts of mining acti-

environment with the greatest potential to

vities on air and water quality, on ecosys-

change the natural and cultural environ-

tems that depend on these elements for

ment, causing environmental and social

survival as well as on the communities that

changes. That is why it is imperative to

coexist with mining, during its operation

develop basic knowledge and technologies

and after closure.

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

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Water and environmental sustainability


Research Lines The research lines of this initiative include: • Hydrometeorological risk assessment and management:

Group Leader

includes generic and applied research for risk quantification

Dr. James McPhee

at mining sites due to hydrometeorological events at various


scales (storms, droughts, climate change). Likewise, we seek to develop and transfer management tools through forecasting and alert models, combined with decision support systems under uncertainty. Currently, we are undertaking research on specific problems, such as seasonal forecasting of water


availability in mountainous regions and debris flow forecasting.

Mining is one of the industries with high potential for modification of the natural and cultural environments. Environmental sustainability in mining requires state-of-the art knowledge of risk factors affecting the mine site and operations as well as its surrounding area. These risk factors include variability and uncertainty of water sources, extreme events, such as flooding, debris flows and snow avalanches that may result in material and personal losses, alteration of biological equilibrium in fragile ecosystems; and problems of engineering design with environmental consequences, such as, energy and water efficiency drops or noxious substance spills.

• Sustainability and environmental impacts: this line of research aims to carry out generic and applied research on control and mitigation of pollutant emissions from mining operations to the atmosphere and aquatic systems. It seeks to characterize the hydrological, physical and chemical mechanisms governing the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems facing perturbations typically associated with the mining industry. Knowledge of these mechanisms not only would decrease the probability of undesired effects of mining projects but may also be applied towards ecosystem restoration, especially, in arid-climate aquatic systems, such as, shallow lagoons and wetlands. • Water efficiency and industrial waters: this line of research is oriented toward research and development of methodologies


for optimal hydraulic transport of mixtures, such as tailings The Group’s mission encompasses development of basic knowle-

and pulps, with the ultimate objective of increasing water

dge and technology for prediction and mitigation of possible

and energy efficiency of these operations.

impacts of mining activities, including operation and closure, on water and air quality, ecosystems and human communities. The


general objective of the Group is to develop predictive models of the behavior of diverse man-made and natural systems, which

The Water and Environmental Sustainability Group currently

determine the degree of environmental sustainability of the

carries out basic and applied research in all its areas of interest.

mining industry. These systems may comprise of hydrological

Among them, the following may be highlighted:

systems as well as biological and physicochemical mechanisms that govern the dynamic of aquatic ecosystems. We are also

• Aquatic biota and water quality in the salt flats of Atacama

concerned with developing optimal engineering design and

(SQM, 2013). Environmental inventory and monitoring, focu-

operational methodologies for improving energy and water use

sing on physical, chemical and biological variables within the

in mining processes.

Soncor, Puilar, Peine and Aguas de Quelana lagoon systems

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ments of liquid-gas and liquid-solid mixtures. It is designed

processing, and analysis are required for the environmental

for non-invasive determination of specific properties, such

assessment of SQM operations within the Atacama Salar.

as, solid concentration and individual phase velocity fields. The non-invasive nature of the equipment enables undis-

• Integral study on water availability and water-related risk

turbed examination of mechanical properties of fluids, such

(CODELCO-El Teniente 2011-2013). This study seeks to

as, tailings and other mining industry mixtures in order to

develop forecasting tools for water resource availability at

characterize realistic phase separation mechanisms. Additio-

different time scales; from seasonal snowmelt to long-term

nally, this equipment is able to obtain relevant properties of

projections under climate change to hourly debris flow fo-

gravitational flow of gas-surrounded granular media, which

recasts during storms. An added value of this project is its

has application in avalanche characterization research. • FONDECYT 1112184 (2012-2015) .

research framework with 100% industry funding.

“Characterizing storage and its impact on hydrologic modeling in high elevation basins on the Andes Cordillera between


30ºS and 36ºS”. Principal Investigator: James McPhee • FONDECYT 1130910 (2013-2015).

Among the Group´s achievements are:

“Bedforms in non-Newtonian fluid flows”. Principal Investigator: Aldo Tamburrino.

• FONDEQUIP-Midsize Equipment (2012)

• FONDECYT-INICIACION 11110201 (2012-2014)

“Tomographer with electric capacitance and resistivity-based

solid-liquid mixture flow measurement system”, led by Dr.

“Experimental and numerical study on two-phase flow and segregation in mild sloping conducts”. Principal Investigator:

Christian Ihle. This initiative allows detailed flow measure-

Christian Ihle.

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

are being conducted. Yearly reports from data collection,


Sustainable Mining: Mitigation studies of impacts on environments and human populations

Research Line Leader Dr. Paula Díaz-Palma paula.diaz@amtc.cl

OBJECTIVE The main goal of this initiative is to support sustainable mining activities during the operation phase, particularly trough the

• Generate environmental quality indicators in sites of high ecological value at local and country level.

reduction of impacts on environments and human populations. The way to achieve this goal is the innovation in environmental technologies and procedures in the mining activities at a na-


tional level. This proposal consists of a multidisciplinary work, led by the WaThe specific goals of this initiative are to implement state-of-

ter and Environmental Sustainability Group of the AMTC, which

the-art environmental monitoring systems, according to each

focuses its capabilities on environmental chemistry, hydrodinamic,

mining project:

fluid mechanics, natural and industrial hazards and ecology. Thus, the approach consists of addressing each problem from

• Develop models of environmental restoration

different tecnological and scientific perspectives. Additionally,

• Investigate mitigation strategies and pollution remediation

AMTC has access to state-of-the-art scientific infrastructure in the hydrological, chemical and environmental areas.

techniques in matrices that impact on human population.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results • Biofouling prevention technologies for the use of seawater

Because each ecosystem is unique and unrepeatable, the results

in mining operations.

of this initiative are conceptualized in terms of protocols or as a conceptual methodology of analysis, which explicitly combines


the scientific and technical dimensions indicated above. With the recent creation of a Sustainable Mining area at AMTC, expected results in this area are as follows:

SQM Mining Company AMTC

• Technical basis for the biomonitoring of Arsenic in aquatic


ecosystems. • Primary productivity models of microbial mat communities

Civil Engineering Department, FCFM, UCH

of High Andean Saline Lakes.

Department of Chemistry, Universidad Católica del Norte

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Integrated study of hydrological risk and availability of water in mountainous areas

Research Line Leader Dr. James McPhee james.mcphee@amtc.cl

OBJECTIVE In Chile, and worldwide, many mining operation sites are located

remotely sensed information, mathematical models and decision

in extreme climatic environments characterized by aridity, low

support systems.

temperatures or the occurrence of extreme hydrometeorological events. These climate extremes (storms, droughts) may affect operations´ continuity and the sustainability of the mining ope-


ration as a whole in the long term. The degree of preparation of the mining industry with respect to threats both in terms of

We combine laboratory, field and desk activities. At the laboratory,

water availability and hydrometeorological risk is a consequence

we are currently developing two experiments to understand initia-

of (i) knowledge about the present and current climate, including

tion mechanisms of debris flow. In the field, we are continnuosly

the statistical properties of extreme events; (ii) state-of-the-art

conducting two experiments: for studying snow accumulation

predictive models; and (iii) models and procedures for risk

and melt processes and, second, for observing occurrence of

management under uncertainty, oriented towards minimizing

debris flow events at a 1:1 scalee. We are also developing hy-

current and future expected costs, economic and environmental,

drological models to evaluate the effect of climate change over

associated with the occurrence of this extreme events.

snow accumulation and melt as well as over the properties of river flows. In parallel, we are developing a decision support

This initiative seeks to develop forecasting tools for water

system, which will integrate all available data and information

availability and hydrometeorological risk, combining field data,

(field observations and models) to guide operational decisions of the mine operators.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



The outcomes of our research would include:


• Detailed analysis of the available hydrometeorological records


and up-to-date assessment of the historical water resource availability.


• Storm record analysis and diagnostic of key factors influencing storm severity and degree of predictability.

CODELCO-El Teniente

• Computer models linking meteorological conditions and

Dirección General de Aguas

hydrological states most commonly associated with the


occurrence of debris flow.

Department of Civil Engineering, FCFM, UCH

• Two experimental designs and the development of special

Department of Geophysics, FCFM, UCH

sensors for shear stress measurement under debris flow conditions, oriented towards an understanding of physical processes. • Systematic system for snow depth and density monitoring.

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Efficient use of water and energy in ore concentrate and tailings hydraulic transport systems

Research Line Leader Dr. Christian Ihle christian.Ihle@amtc.cl



The purpose of this initiative is to study new operational and

In the development of this research line, a combined approach

infrastructure option for the use of water and energy in ore

is adopted including the state-of-the-art in energy modeling of

concentrate and tailing transport. For this purpose, the main

hydraulic solids transport systems integrating topography effects,

challenge is to obtain rational criteria for the combined use of

mixing and rheology. In particular, the hydrodynamic segregation

water and energy. The ultimate intent of this project is to con-

of particles and the formation of coherent structures, such as,

tribute to the optimization of environmental metrics related to

dunes, are part of the scope of the research. Furthermore,the

ore and tailings transport through complex topographies while

definition of a cost function that combines energy consumption

meeting production goals.

metrics and water environmental indicators, such as, embodied energy and carbon footprint, is considered as central in this research. From basic definitions and restrictions, an optimization

The specific objectives encompass:

problem is defined and then solved for the process control • The development of numerical and conceptual algorithms

variables or for those that govern the definition of transport infrastructure. In addition, an important aspect of this initiative is

for efficient use of water and energy • The identification of optimal infrastructure, both in economic

to identify practical operational limits in critical operations, such as prolonged detention of concentrate or slurry pipelines without

and environmental terms • The development of the cutting edge research to aid the operational implementation of the new options

flushing with water, thus minimizing water use. In this context, the Group has obtained funding for generic research of various aspects of the physical characteristics of hyper-concentrated suspensions through two projects: FONDECYT and FONDEQUIP. The focus of this work is both numerical and experimental and has an interdisciplinary character.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Results The results obtained to-date indicate, in particular cases, a

pplemented by including the pipeline path itself in the proposed

tendency towards optimal operational scenarios with higher

optimization scheme, thus including the effect of the length

pumping concentrations, higher flows and smaller utilization

and height difference between high and low points of the pipe

fractions than typical to operational conditions. Furthermore, it

as well as the sequence of the latter. In addition, we expect

has been found that fluctuations of mineralogical characteristics

to generate basic knowledge of the problem, particularly with

and uncertainties in process conditions have a significant impact

regard to physical segregation and sedimentation of particles

on the optimum operating parameters. Cost scenarios of water,

when the pumping stops.

energy, and raw materials may suggest different infrastructure than generally used. In particular, this may affect the choice of


key supplies, such as, pipelines and pumping systems as well as the definition of different operational strategies to, in particular, plan system start-up after prolonged shutdowns. Similarly, the

FONDECYT projects 1110201 and 1130910

analysis of the design and operation under uncertainty of some


input variables provides novel outcomes and solutions, which result in substantial cost differences in design and operation, compared to values obtained using traditional approaches. In terms of immediate applications, the obtained data is being su-

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Impact of Climate Change on Glacier Mass Balance in Central Chile

Research Line Leader Dr. James McPhee james.mcphee@amtc.cl

OBJECTIVE Recent studies in moderately glaciarized watersheds show

The general goal of this initiative is to estimate future changes in

that, in dry years, the contribution from ice-melt to stream flow

ice volume and melt through the development of new nume-

can exceed 50%. The central region of Chile holds over 500

rical models, applicable to the special conditions of the Andes

glaciers of different size, which can be classified as white, rock

of central Chile. Climate variability driven by phenomena such

or debris-covered glaciers. Little is known about the hydrologic

as El Ni単o/la Ni単a (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillaiton (PDO)

role of the two latter classes. Historical records show a variable

and drought patterns is of special relevance, together with other

picture of glacier mass balance: the Echaurren Norte glacier has

variables related to climate change. In order to validate the newly

experienced a net increase in ice volume in the last 30 years;

developed models, we have implemented a strategy for glacier

nevertheless, the majority of existing glaciers have experienced

and weather monitoring and river flow measurements. Additio-

retreats in the same period. In central Chile, therefore, it is

nally, we are developing new techniques for hydro-glaciological

extremely relevant to acquire more information and undertake

understanding, based on natural tracers, such as, water chemistry

predictions regarding the future evolution of glaciers and their

and isotopic nature.

hydrological role under scenarios of accelerated climate change. This initiative seeks to develop conceptual and numerical models


of glacier mass balance encompassing realistic representations of relevant processes, such as, snow accumulation, redistribution,

The methodology covers laboratory, field and desk studies. The

and others. Current lack of basic information motivates the need

methods include data fusion and the development of numerical

for field campaigns, which collect data on various variables that

mass and energy balance models. Intense field campaigns will

control ice melt.

gather glaciological, data, such as, accumulation and ablation rates, variations in glacier topography and weather observations that would enable estimation of effects of solar radiation, air

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC


temperature and other sources of ice melt. Finally, satellite information will allow monitoring, on a near-continuous basis, the areal extent of ice masses in order to validate model predictions.

CONICYT Dirección General de Aguas Universidad de Chile

Results The outcomes of this inititive will include:


• Novel hydro-glaciological databases of high temporal and

Dirección General de Aguas – MOP

spatial resolution, which will allow for increased knowledge


about the behavior of arid-climate glaciers

ETH - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Zonas Aridas (CEAZA)

• New glacier mass balance models, specifically developed for

University of California, Los Angeles

semi-arid climates and with the ability to model both white and debris-covered glaciers • New methods for analyzing river flow data discriminating the relative contribution of different sources, such as glacier and snow melt, and subsurface flow, based on water chemistry and isotopic signature

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Updating of the snow-measuring national network and seasonal snowmelt forecasts

Research Line Leader Dr. James McPhee james.mcphee@amtc.cl

OBJECTIVE Annually, the Dirección General de Aguas (DGA), the Chilean

characterization of available water resources in mountainous

Water Bureau issues seasonal streamflow forecasts for the

areas and a new methodology for stream flow forecasts.

September through March period, for major basins between the Copiapó and Ñuble Rivers. Water managers use this forecast to assess water resource availability for diverse uses, such


as, irrigation, drinking water supply, and others. This forecast is built based on wintertime precipitation data from a very limited

Periodically, we monitor pilot basins in different climatic regions

network of observational stations. Current satellite technology

along the Andes Cordillera to characterize the meteorological

allows adding valuable snow cover information that could be

and hydrological processes that determine snow accumulation

used to improve these forecasts.

patterns in space and time. Specifically, we monitor snow depth and relate this variable to terrain characteristics. Then, numerical

This initiative seeks to incorporate these new sources of infor-

models of snow water equivalent distribution can be derived based

mation, better field data and new methods in order to improve

on this data, taking into account processes, such as, precipitation

current forecasts by DGA.

spatial variability, differential wintertime melt due to slope angle relative to the sun, wind transport and gravitational redistribution.

The general objective of this study includes proposing, imple-

Better models of snow-water equivalent distribution will allow

menting and evaluating a new measurement system for accurate

better estimates of watershed-scale snow accumulation at the beginning of the melt season and better forecasts of river flow.

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Research Line Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC



The outcomes of this initiative will include:

AMTC Dirección General de Aguas

• Snow accumulation patterns: it is desired to obtain predictive


models of snow accumulation based on terrain characteristics,

International Relations Division, CONICYT

such as, elevation, slope, and wind and radiation exposure. • Observation network improvement: a proposal of new lo-


cations and instruments will be issued to DGA, in order to improve coverage and data quality.

Dirección General de Aguas

• New methods for snow melt stream flow forecasts: based


on newly available information at the site and regional scales

ETH - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland

(satellite based).

Department of Civil Engineering, FCFM, UCH Department of Geophysics, FCFM, UCH

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AMTC budget 2009 – 2013

AMTC budget 2009 – 2013

Funds (Chilean pesos)

Baseline (CONICYT)






Basic Research



Precompetitive R& D



International Cooperation



University of Chile









University of Chile






Infrastructure funding sources

CONICYT: National Commission for Scientific & Technological Research, Associative Research Program

2009-2013 budget by funding source 39.6%





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University of Chile

International Cooperation

Precompetitive R&D

Basic Research




Outcomes in 2011 ISI Publications


Conferences and other Publications


Masters´ Graduates


PhD Graduates


Postdoctoral Fellows


AMTC/Industry Joint Projects


FONDECYT* Projects


FONDEF**- INNOVA*** Projects


Patent Applications


Software Registrations


Outcomes in 2012 ISI Publications


Conferences and other Publications


Masters´ Graduates


PhD Graduates


Postdoctoral Fellows


AMTC/Industry Joint Projects


FONDECYT* Projects


FONDEF**-INNOVA*** Projects


Patent Applications


Software Registrations


* FONDECYT: National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development ** FONDEF: Scientific and Technological Development Support Fund (Both Funds managed by the Chilean National Commission for Scientific & Technological Research) *** INNOVA: Funding Instrument of the Chilean Economic Development Agency

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Outcomes Resultados2011 -2012



SELECTED ISI Journal Publications 1. Castro, R; Vargas, R; de la Huerta F., ”How to determine drawpoint spacing at Panel Caving: case study at El Teniente Mine”, Journal of the South Afr. Inst Min and Metall, Vol. 112, 871-876, Octubre 2012 2. Chen, C., Brown, D., Sconyers, C., Zhang, B., Vachtsevanos, G., and Orchard, M., “An integrated architecture for fault diagnosis and failure prognosis of complex engineering systems”, Expert Systems with Applications, Vol. 39, Issue 10, 9031-9040, Agosto 2012 3. Chen, C., Vachtsevanos, G., Orchard, M. “Machine Remaining Useful Life Prediction: an Integrated Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy and High-Order Particle Filtering Approach”, Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing”, Vol. 28, 597-607, Abril 2012 4. Contreras-Reyes, E .; Jara, J .; Grevemeyer, I .; Ruiz, S .; Carrizo, D ., “Abrupt change in the dip of the subducting plate beneath north Chile”, Nature Geoscience, Vol. 5, 342345, Mayo 2012 5. Costa, A., M. Vilaragut, J.C. Travieso-Torres, M.A. Duarte-Mermoud, J. Muñoz and I. Yznaga, “MATLAB based simulation toolbox for the study and design of induction motor FOC speed drives”, Computer Applications in Engineering Education, Vol. 20(2), 295-312, Febrero 2012 6. Cuba, M., Leuangthong, O., Ortiz, J. M., “Detecting and quantifying sources of non-stationarity via experimental semivariogram modeling”, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, Vol. 26, 247-260, 2012 7. Cuba, M., Leuangthong, O., Ortiz, J. M., “Transferring Sampling Errors into Geostatistical Modeling”, Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 112, 971-983, 2012 8. Delpiano, J., Jara, J., Scheer, J., Ramirez, O., Ruiz-del-Solar, J., Hartel, S., “Performance of optical flow techniques for motion analysis of fluorescent point signals in confocal microscopy”, Machine Vision and Applications, Vol. 23, No. 4, 675-689, Julio 2012 9. Duarte-Mermoud, M., J.C. Travieso-Torres, I.S. Pelissier and H.A. González, “Induction motor control based on adaptive passivity”, Asian Journal of Control, Vol.14(1), 67-84,Enero 2012 10. Emery, X. Co-simulating total and soluble copper grades in an oxide ore deposit, Mathematical Geosciences, Vol. 44(1), 27-46, 2012

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11. Emery, X., Ortiz, J. M., “Enhanced coregionalization analysis for simulating vector Gaussian random fields”, Computers & Geosciences, Vol. 42, 126-135, 2012 12. Emery, X., Peláez, M., “Reducing the number of orthogonal factors in linear coregionalization modeling”, Computers & Geosciences, Vol. 46, 149-156, 2012 13. Emery, X., Willy Kracht, Álvaro Egaña, Felipe Garrido, “Using Two-Point Set Statistics to Estimate the Diameter Distribution in Boolean Models with Circular Grains”, Mathematical Geosciences, Vol. 44, 805-822, Octubre 2012 14. Hermosilla, G., Ruiz-del-Solar, J., Verschae, R., and Correa, M., “A Comparative Study of Thermal Face Recognition Methods in Unconstrained Environments”, Pattern Recognition, Vol. 45, No. 7, 2445-2459, Julio 2012 15. Ihle, C.F. and A. Tamburrino, “Uncertainties in key transport variables in homogeneous slurry flows in pipelines”, Minerals Engineering, Vol. 32, 54-59, Mayo 2012 16. Ihle, C.F. and A. Tamburrino, “Variables affecting energy efficiency in turbulent ore concentrate pipeline transport”, Minerals Engineering, Vol. 39, 62-70, Diciembre 2012 17. Loncomilla, P., and Ruiz-del-Solar, J., “Visual SLAM based on Rigid-Body 3D landmarks”, Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, Vol. 66, No. 1-2, 125-149, Julio 2012 18. Mendoza, P., James McPhee, and Ximena Vargas, “Uncertainty in flood forecasting: A distributed modeling approach in a sparse data catchment”, Water Resources Research (2012), Vol. 48,9, Octubre 2012 19. Montoya, C., Emery, X., Rubio, E., Wiertz, J. Multivariate resources modelling for assessing uncertainty in mine design and mine planning, Journal of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 112, 353-363, 2012 20. Montserrat, S., A. Tamburrino, O. Roche and Y. Niño, “Pore fluid pressure diffusion in defluidizing granular columns”, Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, Vol. 117, 1-15, Junio 2012 21. Muñoz, M., Charrier, R., Fanning, M. y Maksaev, V., “ Zircon trace element and O-Hf isotope analyses of mineralized intrusions from El Teniente deposit, Chilean Andes: constraints on the source and magmatic evolution of Porphyry Cu-Mo related magmas”, Journal of Petrology, Vol.53, 1091-1122, Junio 2012

6. Carrasco, F., Astudillo, F., Lacassie, J.P., Ruiz-del-Solar, J., “Geoquímica y espectrometría de sedimentos activos en la cuenca del Limarí: Análisis mediante redes neuronales”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Chile, Agosto 2012

23. Ortiz, J. M., Magri, E. J., Líbano, R., “Improving financial returns from mining through geostatistical simulation and the optimized advance drilling grid at El Tesoro Copper Mine”, Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 112, 15-22, 2012

7. Carrizo, D., Eduardo Contreras, J. Jara, I Meyer, S. Ruiz, “Abrupt change in the dip of the subducting plate governs megathrust seismicity in north Chile”,XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

24. Rosales, M., Niño, Y., and Valencia, A., “On the application of the Fourier series solution to the hydromagnetic buoyant two-dimensional laminar vertical jet”, Mathematical Problems in Engineering 2012, 14 pages, Octubre 2012

8. Carrizo, D., W. Silva, Iván Vela, Diana Comte, “Búsqueda del control estructural en la evolución de la permeabilidad del Yacimiento Río Blanco - Los Bronces”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

25. Ruiz-del-Solar, J., and Weitzenfeled, A., “Advances in Robotics in Latin America”, Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems, Vol. 66, No.1-2, 1-2, Julio 2012

9. Castillo, P., Xavier Emery, Brian Townley, Alvaro Puig, “Aplicación de kriging factorial en exploración geoquímica de zonas cubiertas muestreadas con colectores pasivos”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

26. Tapia, J .; Audry, S .; Townley, B .; Duprey, JL ., “Geochemical background, baseline and origin of contaminants from sediments in the mining-impacted Altiplano and Eastern Cordillera of Oruro, Bolivia”, Geochemistry Exploration Environment Analysis, Vol. 12, Febrero 2012.

10. Castro, R.; Orellana, L; Pineda, M, “Physical modelling as an engineering tool for mining: theory and practice”, 6th Mass Mining and Exhibition Conference Massmin 2012, Proceedings, Canada, Junio 2012 11. Cortés, J., Marcelo Farías, Diana Comte, Reynaldo Charrier, “Estructuras y depósitos neógenos de la región de Cariquima (Altiplano Chileno): Implicancias en el origen de la Cordillera Occidental”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

Conference Papers and Other Publications 1. Alarcón M., Edgardo Madariaga, Nelson Morales, Enrique Rubio, “Integrating constructability of a project into the optimization of the production planning and scheduling”, MASSMIN 2012, Proceedings, Sudbury, Canada, Junio 2012

12. Diaz G., Parra A.J., Egaña A.F., Ortiz J.M., “Filter clustering for segmentation based on texture and color”, ALGES Lab Research Annual Report, 13p, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Marzo 2012

2. Baeza, D., Sepúlveda, E., Ortiz, J. M., “Parallelization of simulation algorithm with GPU for constructing high resolution models of Earth Sciences variables”, Ninth Conference on Geostatistics for Environmental Applications, geoENV2012, Proceedings, Valencia, Spain, Octubre 2012

13. Egaña, A., Julián M. Ortiz, “Metodologías computacionales de restitución geométrica de cuerpos geológicos para evaluación de yacimientos”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

3. Boetsch, M., Brian Townley, “Control estructural asociado a las fases de mineralización en el sector Laguna Verde del distrito argento-aurífero Cerro Bayo, XI Región, Chile”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

14. Fuenzalida, M; Castro, R., “How does caved rock mass behave under confinement?”, 6th International Seminar on Deep and High Stress mining, Proceedings, Australia, Abril 2012

4. Caballero, E., Emery, X. “Estimación multivariable de recursos recuperables: caso de un depósito de lateritas niquelíferas”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

15. Gálvez, I., Emery, X., “Modelamiento geoestadístico de mineralogías de sulfuros en un yacimiento de cobre”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

5. Caballero, E., Emery, X., “Multivariate estimation of recoverable resources in a lateritic nickel deposit”, 5th International Conference on Innovation in Mine Operations, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Junio 2012

16. Gálvez, I., Emery, X., “Geostatistical modeling of the sulphide mineralogy in a copper ore deposit“, 5th International Conference on Innovation in Mine Operations, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Junio 2012

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22. Ohlanders, N. and Rodriguez, M and McPhee, J., “Stable water isotope variation in a Central Andean watershed dominated by glacier-and snowmelt”, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss, Vol. 9, 12227—12269, Octubre 2012


17. Garrido, F., Egaña A.F., Kracht, W., “baBool: Implementación sw método booleano para caracterización de tamaños de burbujas”, ALGES Lab Research Annual Report, 24p, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Marzo 2012 18. Ihle, C., Tamburrino, A. and Niño, Y., “Implications of shortterm hydrodynamic effects in slurry rheological characterization”, Workshop on Environmental and Extreme Multiphase Flows, Proceedings, Gainesville, USA, Octubre 2012 19. Ihle, C.F., Tamburrino, A., Trewhela, T., Garcés, A., Herrera, P., “Modelación de escurrimiento de pulpas sobre topografías complejas: una herramienta para la toma de decisiones”, IX Taller de Concentraductos, Minero- ductos y Relaveductos, Fluimin 2012, Proceedings, Viña del Mar, Chile, Septiembre 2012 20. Ihle, C.F., Tamburrino, A., Vivero, P., “Mecanismos de variabilidad en medición de curvas de flujo de mezclas sólido-líquidas sedimentables a altas concentraciones”, XXV Congreso Latinoamericano de Hidráulica, Proceedings, San José, Costa Rica, Septiembre 2012 21. Jelvez, E., Nelson Morales, Juan Peypouquet and Patricio Reyes Real, “Options in open pit mine planning under geological uncertainty”, MININ 2012, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Junio 2012 22. Kracht, W., Acuña, C., Orozco, Y., “Rol de los espumantes en la selectividad del proceso de flotación de minerales”, Conamet/Sam 2012, 12° Congreso Binacional de Metalurgia y Materiales, Proceedings, Valparaiso, Chile, Diciembre 2012 23. Lacassie, J.P., Baeza, L., Astudillo, F., Figueroa, M., Castillo, P., Muñoz, N., Ramírez, C., Espinoza, F., Miralles, C., Carrasco, F., Ruiz-del-Solar, J., “Mapa geoquímico de la Hoja Iquique: definición e interpretación de patrones geoquímicos a escala regional”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Chile, Agosto 2012 24. Lacassie, J.P., Ruiz-del-Solar, J., “Regional geochemical patterns in the Atacama desert”, Annual Int. Conf. on Geological and Earth Science - GEOS 2012,, Proceedings, Singapore, Diciembre 2012 25. Lacassie, J.P., Ruiz-del-Solar, J., “Agrupamiento de datos geoquímicos utilizando hormigas artificiales”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Chile, Agosto 2012 26. Lange, W., Emery, X., “Joint simulation of total and soluble copper grades in an oxide copper deposit”, 5th International Conference on Innovation in Mine Operations, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Junio 2012 27. McPhee, J., A. Ayala and X. Vargas, “A New Dataset for Understanding and Modeling Snow Distribution in the Semi-arid Andes Cordillera”, AGU Fall Meeting, Proceedings, San Francisco, CA, Diciembre 2012

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28. Orchard, M., Olivares, B., Cerda, M. and Silva, J., “Anomaly Detection Based on Information-Theoretic Measures and Particle Filtering Algorithms”, Annual Conference of the Prognostics and Health Management Society 2012, Proceedings, Minneapolis, MN, USA, Septiembre 2012 29. Parra, A., Ortiz, J.M., “Parallel implementation of multiple-point simulation based on texture synthesis”, Ninth International Geostatistics Congress, Proceedings, Oslo, Norway, Octubre 2012 30. Peredo, O., Ortiz, J.M., “Multiple-point geostatistical simulation based on genetic algorithms implemented in a shared-memory supercomputer”, Ninth International Geostatistics Congress, Proceedings, Oslo, Norway, Octubre 2012 31. Perez, C., D. Schulz, P. Vera, C. Navarro, L. Castillo and J. Saravia, “Rock Lithological Classification based on Gabor Filters and Support Vector Machine”, XXVI International Mineral Processing Congress - IMPC 2012, Proceedings, New Delhi, India, Septiembre 2012 32. Perez, C., J. Saravia, C. Navarro, L. Castillo, D. Schulz, C. Aravena, “Lithological classification based on Gabor texture analysis”, International Symposium on Optomechatronic Technologies, Proceedings, Paris, France, Octubre 2012 33. Perez, C., Navarro, P. Vera, D. Schulz, L. Castillo and J. Saravia, “Rock Grindability Estimation based on the Quaternion Color Extraction Model”, XXVI International Mineral Processing Congress - IMPC 2012, Proceedings, New Delhi, India, Septiembre 2012 34. Reyes, M., Morales, N., Emery, X., “Final Pit: simulated annealing approach with floating cones”, 5th International Conference on Innovation in Mine Operations, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Junio 2012 35. Rocher, W., Enrique Rubio, Nelson Morales, “Optimal sequencing and scheduling for a block/panel cave mining”, MASSMIN 2012, Proceedings, Sudbury, Canada, Junio 2012 36. Rudloff, B., and Nelson Morales, “Underground development sequencer and schedule applied to a panel caving mine”, MININ 2012, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Junio 2012 37. Salinas, I., Emery, X., “Estimación de recursos en un yacimiento de hierro”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012 38. Salinas, I., Emery, X., “An application of cokriging to estimate the mineral resources in an iron ore deposit”, 5th International Conference on Innovation in Mine Operations, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Junio 2012 39. Seguel, J., Arriagada, C. Becerra, F. Martínez, D. Carrizo, R. Floody, “Estilos estructurales en el Yacimiento El Teniente”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

3. McPhee, J., de la Fuente, A., Herrera, P., Niño, Y., Olivares, M., Sancha, A.M., Tamburrino, A. y Vargas, X., Jiménez y Galizia Tundisi (editores), “Diagnóstico del agua en las Américas”, “El sector del agua en Chile: su estado y sus retos”, Pag.169-193, “Red Interamericana de Academias de Ciencias. Foro Consultivo Científico y Tecnológico, 2012

41. Tamburrino, A., Carrillo, D., Ihle, C.F., “Incipient motion of non-cohesive particles in yield stress fluid flows”, International conference on Fluvial Hydraulics, River Flow 2012, Proceedings, San José, Costa Rica, Septiembre 2012

4. Orchard, M., Vachtsevanos, G., and Goebel, K., Srivastava, A. and Han, J.(editores), “Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery for Engineering Systems Health Management”, “A Combined Model-Based and Data-Driven Prognostic Approach for Aircraft System Life Management”, Pag. 363-394, CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group/United States, Enero 2012

42. Tapia, J., Brian Townley, “Estudio del registro histórico del contenido de metales y metaloides en sedimentos lacustres del Altiplano de Bolivia”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012

5. Vosin Leandro, Dr. Yen-Hsun Su (editor), “Noble Metals”,”Distribution of Precious Metals During the Reducing Pyrometallurgical Processes of Complex Copper Materials”, Pag. 25, Intech, Febrero 2012

43. Tomlinson, A.; Blanco, N.; García, M.; Baeza, L.; Alcota, H.; Ladino, M.; Pérez de Arce, C.; Fanning, M.; Martin, M., “Permian exhumation of metamorphic complexes in the Calama area: Evidence for flat-slab subduction in northern Chile during the San Rafael tectonic phase and origin of the Central Andean Gravity High”, XIII Congreso Geológico Chileno, Proceedings, Antofagasta, Chile, Agosto 2012


44. Townley, B., “The Mining Industry and Human Resource in Chile: The Role of Universities and Link with Industry”, Exploration Managers Conference 2012 – AMIRA, Proceedings, Perth, Australia, Marzo 2012

1. Adams, M. , Mullane, J. , Jose, E., B.-N. Vo, Robotic Navigation and Mapping with Radar, Pages 346, Artech House, Boston , London, USA, UK, Julio 2012 2. Salah, A.A., Ruiz-del-Solar, J., Mericli, C., Oudeyer, P.-Y.∫, Human Behavior Understanding (Third Workshop, HBU 2012, in IROS 2012), Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 7559, pages 175, Springer, 2012

45. Vallejos, J; Estay, R.; Zepeda, R.; Jorquera, P., “A methodology for evaluating the performance of seismic indicators at El Teniente Mine, Codelco Chile”, 6th Mass Mining and Exhibition Conference Massmin 2012, Proceedings, Canada, Junio 2012 46. Voisin, L., Fabian Mansilla, “Modeling of the Reduction Stage During the Continuous Refining of Copper in a Packed Bed Reactor”, COMSOL Conference 2012, Proceedings, Boston, USA, Octubre 2012

BOOK CHAPTERS 1. Fuenzalida, M.A, Castro, R.L., Yves Potvin (editor), “Proceedings of the Sixth International Seminar on Deep and High Stress Mining”, “Caving Methods”, Pag.431-441, ACG, Perth, Australia, Marzo 2012 2. Duarte-Mermoud, M.A. and Travieso-Torres, J.C. , Rui Esteves Araujo (editores), “Induction Motors: Modelling and Control”, “Chapter 12, Advanced control techniques for induction motors”, Pag. 295-324, Intech, Rijeka, Croatia. ISBN 978-953-51-0843-6, Junio 2012

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40. Soto F., Sepúlveda E., Egaña A.F., Ortiz J.M., “CuSco: software for Cut and Cus modeling and spatial bias removal”, ALGES Lab Research Annual Report, 13p, Proceedings, Santiago, Chile, Marzo 2012


PROJECTS 2012/13

APPLIED RESEARCH PROJECTS FUNDED BY THE INDUSTRY AMINPRO Principal Researcher: Willy Kracht Funding Source: AMINPRO Start Date: 11-01-2011 I End Date: 12-31-2012

Desarrollo de herramientas de diseño para la mina subterránea El Peñón Principal Researcher: Javier Vallejos Funding Source: Yamana Gold Start Date: 09-01-2012 I End Date: 12-18-2014 Estudio de extracción de Sc Principal Researcher: Willy Kracht Funding Source: Minería Imán Start Date: 06-01-2011 I End Date: 08-31-2012

Análisis de tecnologías LHD semi-autónomas Principal Researcher: Javier Ruiz del Solar Funding Source: CODELCO Start Date: 01-07-2013 I End Date: 08-27-2013 Aplicación de la Minería Autómata a la Operación a Cielo Abierto Principal Researcher: Javier Ruiz del Solar Funding Source: CODELCO Start Date: 07-11-2013 I End Date: 03-15-2014 Asesoría para la adquisición de sistemas de detección de personas Principal Researcher: Raúl Castro Funding Source: CODELCO-Teniente Start Date: 05-01-2012 I End Date: 01-06-2012 Automatización de Minería Continua Principal Researcher: Raúl Castro Funding Source: CODELCO-VP Proyectos Start Date: 07-01-2012 I End Date: 01-07-2013

Estudio Extracción de Tierras Raras Principal Researcher: Willy Kracht Funding Source: Minería Activa Start Date: 05-01-2012 I End Date: 12-30-2012 Estudio de Disponibilidad de Recursos Hídricos y Evaluación de Riesgo Hídrico Principal Researcher: James McPhee Funding Source: CODELCO-Teniente Start Date: 01-01-2012 I End Date: 12-31-2012 Estudio de Sismicidad Cortical en Sector Paniri y su Relación con Fallas Activas Principal Researcher: Diana Comte Funding Source: EASA Start Date: 08-24-2012 I End Date: 01-04-2013 Estudio de Sismicidad Inducida (indicadores sísmicos – sismicidad inducida/tronadura) Principal Researcher: Javier Vallejos Funding Source: CODELCO-Teniente Start Date: 06-01-2012 I End Date: 02-28-2013

Calcinas Chuquicamata Principal Researcher: Leandro Voisin Funding Source: CODELCO Start Date: 01-01-2012 I End Date: 01-01-2013 CAM-G: Modelamiento de geología asistida por computador Principal Researcher: Julián Ortiz Funding Source: BHP Billiton Start Date: 12-30-2011 I End Date: 01-04-2015

Evaluación de Factibilidad Técnica para Utilizar el Cráter de Subsidencia en la Construcción de Botaderos Principal Researcher: Javier Vallejos Funding Source: CODELCO-Teniente Start Date: 01-01-2012 I End Date: 01-31-2012

Comparisons of rebop to large panel caving operations Principal Researcher: Raúl Castro Funding Source: MMT Queensland Start Date: 04-01-2011 I End Date: 01-06-2012

Evaluación Plataforma Seguimiento Proyectos Exploración Principal Researcher: Marcelo García Funding Source: REDCO Start Date: 03-01-2012 I End Date: 12-30-2012

CuSco: software de modelamiento conjunto de CuT/CuS en casos de muestreo preferencial Principal Researcher: Julián Ortiz Funding Source: Minera el Tesoro Start Date: 12-01-2011 I End Date: 03-31-2012

Geostat Cosim grades and rock types for iron resource evaluation Principal Researcher: Xavier Emery Funding Source: Minera Vale Start Date: 01-04-2013 I End Date: 01-04-2015

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TeXIM: Análisis de imágenes para caracterización de mineral Principal Researcher: Julián Ortiz Funding Source: BHP Billiton Start Date: 12-30-2011 I End Date: 01-04-2015

Mapeo Geológico Geotécnico y Estructural de Superficie del Sector Ventanas de Aducción Cajón Lo Aguirre Chico, Región del Maule Principal Researcher: Daniel Carrizo Funding Source: SRK Consulting Chile Start Date: 01-01-2012 I End Date: 04-30-2012

Tolhuaca Geothermal Field Principal Researcher: Diana Comte Funding Source: Geo Global SA Start Date: 12-01-2011 I End Date: 03-30-2012 Tomografía BHP Principal Researcher: Diana Comte Funding Source: BHP Billiton Start Date: 03-01-2012 I End Date: 04-30-2012

Modelamiento Numérico del Comportamiento Dinámico del Refuerzo de Macizo Rocoso ante Eventos Principal Researcher: Javier Vallejos Funding Source: CODELCO-Teniente Start Date: 09-01-2012 I End Date: 03-31-2013

U-Fo: restitución geométrica de cuerpos geológicos para modelamiento de recursos Principal Researcher: Julián Ortiz Funding Source: Yamana Gold Start Date: 05-01-2011 I End Date: 01-31-2012

Modelo Físico Cajones Disipadores Principal Researcher: Christian Ihle Funding Source: AUSENCO Start Date: 01-01-2013 I End Date: 12-01-2013

U-Fo: Restitución Geométrica de Cuerpos Geológicos para Modelamiento de Recursos, parte 2 Principal Researcher: Julián Ortiz Funding Source: Yamana Gold Start Date: 03-05-2012 I End Date: 05-03-2014

Modelamiento y Mapeo 3D de Minas Principal Researcher: Martin Adams Funding Source: Clearpath Robotics Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2013 MQAlt: Modelamiento multivariable cuantitativo de alteración Principal Researcher: Julián Ortiz Funding Source: BHP Billiton Start Date: 12-30-2011 I End Date: 01-04-2015

APPLIED RESEARCH PROJECTS FUNDED BY GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS Conversión continua Principal Researcher: Leandro Voisin Funding Source: ENAMI Start Date: 10-01-2012 I End Date: 10-31-2013

Numerical Modelling of Rock masses and fragmentation Principal Researcher: Javier Vallejos Funding Source: CODELCO-Teniente Start Date: 01-01-2012 I End Date: 03-30-2013

Desarrollo de herramientas de diseño para minería subterránea selectiva en chile Principal Researcher: Javier Vallejos Funding Source: INNOVA 11IDL2-10630 Start Date: 12-15-2011 I End Date: 12-30-2014

Pampa Norte Principal Researcher: Diana Comte Funding Source: BHP Billiton Start Date: 05-01-2012 I End Date: 12-30-2012

Desarrollo de un sensor continuo de tamaño de burbujas para el proceso de flotación de minerales Principal Researcher: Willy Kracht Funding Source: INNOVA 11IDL2-10687 Start Date: 12-15-2011 I End Date: 12-30-2013

Recuperación de Fósforo desde Descartes de Minerales de Fosfato Mediante Biolixiviación con Microorganismos Autótrofos Principal Researcher: Tomás Vargas Funding Source: Minera Vale Start Date: 05-01-2012 I End Date: 01-04-2014

Enfoque probabilístico basado en modelos para la estimación en línea del estado de salud/carga y caracterización del perfil de uso de baterías de ion-litio Principal Researcher: Marcos Orchard Funding Source: INNOVA 11IDL1-10409 Start Date: 12-15-2011 I End Date: 06-30-2012

Servicio de mapeo estructural de superficie, tomografía sísmica y análisis complementario para el desarrollo del modelo estructural del distrito Los Bronces Principal Researcher: Daniel Carrizo Funding Source AngloAmerican Sur Start Date: 01-28-2011 I End Date: 01-30-2012

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Levantamiento Geológico Geotérmico Volcán Tacora Principal Researcher: Marcelo García Funding Source: Serviland Minergy ECM Start Date: 09-01-2012 I End Date: 10-30-2012



Levantamiento de cartas Cuya y Miñi-miñi Principal Researcher: Marcelo García Funding Source: SERNAGEOMIN Start Date: 12-01-2011 I End Date: 12-30-2012 Modelación de Balance de Masa y Descarga de Agua en Glaciares de Chile Central Principal Researcher: James McPhee Funding Source: Unidad Glaciología de Nieves, DGA Start Date: 08-01-2012 I End Date: 12-30-2012 MudFlow, Simulador de Agua Barro en Minería Principal Researcher: Raúl Castro Funding Source: INNOVA 12IDL2-15145 Start Date: 08-01-2012 I End Date: 04-30-2015

Advances in robot perception and mapping in challenging environments Principal Researcher: Martín Adams Funding Source: FONDECYT 1110579 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2013 Advanced neural networks and information theoretic learning methods for time series analysis: applications to astronomical light curves and biomedical signals Principal Researcher: Pablo Estévez Funding Source: FONDECYT 1110701 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2014

Seguimiento de Condiciones Nivales en Chile Central Principal Researcher: James McPhee Funding Source: DGA Start Date: 08-01-2012 I End Date: 12-30-2012

Análisis Fractal y de Redes sobre Sismicidad en Chile y el Peligro Sísmico Asociado Principal Researcher: Denisse Pasten Funding Source: FONDECYT 3120237 Start Date: 03-15-2012 I End Date: 03-15-2014

Selección y aplicación de un modelo hidrológico para estimar los impactos del cambio climático en la generación de energía del sistema interconectado central Principal Researcher: James McPhee Funding Source: Ministerio de Energia Start Date: 12-01-2011 I End Date: 08-31-2012

Analysis of distored incoherent scatter spectrum caused by the interaction of unstable waves via particle in cell simulations Principal Researcher: Marcos Díaz Funding Source: FONDECYT 1110384 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2014

Sistema de Monitoreo para Seguridad de Trabajadores en la Minería con Aprendizaje Automático Principal Researcher: Claudio Pérez Funding Source: INNOVA 12IDL2-13673 Start Date: 09-01-2012 I End Date: 02-01-2015 Sistema de valorización de yacimientos en base a información geofísica Principal Researcher: Marcos Díaz Funding Source: INNOVA 11IDL2-10829 Start Date: 12-15-2011 I End Date: 12-30-2013 Smart use of gases for improving recovery flotation cells: aplicación a concentradoras de cobre y molibdeno. Principal Researcher: Gonzalo Montes Funding Source: FONDEF –(FONDEF IDEA) Start Date: 12-13-2012 I End Date: 12-13-2013

Bedforms in non-Newtonian fluid flows Principal Researcher: Aldo Tamburrino Funding Source: FONDECYT 1130910 Start Date: 03-15-2013 I End Date: 03-15-2015 Boosting learning algorithms for multiclass classification and multidimension regression: applications to object detection and classification Principal Researcher: Rodrigo Verschae Funding Source: FONDECYT 3120218 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2012 Consitutive modeling of intact rock behavior under true triaxial loading conditions using a discrete element approach Principal Researcher: Javier Vallejos Funding Source: FONDECYT 1110187 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2014

Reconocimiento inteligente de patrones por video: aplicaciones en vigilancia y minería Principal Researcher: Claudio Pérez Funding Source: FONDEF D08I-1060 Start Date: 03-01-2010 I End Date: 12-30-2012

Characterizing storage and its impact on hydrologic modeling in high elevation basins on the Andes Cordillera between 30ºS and 36ºS Principal Researcher: James McPhee Funding Source: FONDECYT 1121184 Start Date: 03-15-2012 I End Date: 03-15-2015

Virtual Planning Room - Ambiente de trabajo para la planificación minera Principal Researcher: Alejandro Ehrenfeld Funding Source: INNOVA 13IDL1-18458 Start Date: 07-07-2013 I End Date: 12-07-2013

Design of fractional order adaptive controller with applications Principal Researcher: Manuel Duarte Funding Source: FONDECYT 1090208 Start Date: 03-15-2009 I End Date: 03-15-2012

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Semantic perception and mapping for mobile robots in unconstrained environments. Principal Researcher: Javier Ruiz del Solar Funding Source: FONDECYT 1130153 Start Date: 03-15-2013 I End Date: 03-15-2016

Improvements of adaptive systems performance by using fractional order observers and particle swarm optimization Principal Researcher: Manuel Duarte Funding Source: FONDECYT 1120453 Start Date: 03-15-2012 I End Date: 03-15-2015 Instrumentación avanzada para la medición no invasiva de campos de velocidad y concentración de flujos de mezclas sólidos-líquidos a altas concentraciones Principal Researcher: Christian Ihle Funding Source: FONDEQUIP EQM120197 Start Date: 12-01-2012 I End Date: 06-01-2013

Study of bubble coalescence prevention in the presence of frothers by means of bubble acoustic emissions in flotation systems Principal Researcher: Willy Kracht Funding Source: FONDECYT 1110173 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2013

International Cooperation Projects Algorithms for modeling the visual system: From natural vision to numerical applications Funding Source: CONICYT - ANR Principal Researchers Juan Cristóbal Zagal – Javier Ruiz del Solar Start Date: 01-01-2011 I End Date: 12-30-2013

Multiple point geostatistics for the evaluation of uncertainty in geological attributes and grades Principal Researcher: Julián Ortiz Funding Source: FONDECYT 1090056 Start Date: 03-15-2009 I End Date: 03-15-2012

Apoyo a la Formación de Redes Internacionales entre Centros de Investigación en Energías Funding Source: CONICYT - MINERGIA Principal Researcher: Manuel Duarte Start Date: 08-01-2012 I End Date: 08-01-2013

Multivariate geostatistics and its application to the characterization of mineral resources Principal Researcher: Xavier Emery Funding Source: FONDECYT 1090013 Start Date: 03-15-2009 I End Date: 03-15-2013

Exploración 3D automatizada para digitalización rápida de minas Funding Source: CONICYT - DAAD Principal Researcher: Martin Adams Start Date: 01-31-2013 I End Date: 01-31-2015

New Biometric Methods for Face Identification by Enhanced Feature Extraction-Selection and Model Fusion Principal Researcher: Claudio Pérez Funding Source: FONDECYT 1120613 Start Date: 03-15-2012 I End Date: 03-15-2015

Hazard studies related to pyroclastic density currents and gas emissions of Chilean volcanoes Funding Source: ECOS-CONICYT C11U01 Principal Researchers: Y. Niño - O. Roche. Start Date: 01-01-2012 I End Date: 12-30-2013

Phase relations and distribution of arsenic, antimony and lead during the treatment of complex impurity-rich copper materials by using iron carburization Principal Researcher: Leandro Voisin Funding Source: FONDECYT 1120341 Start Date: 03-15-2012 I End Date: 03-15-2014

Responsibility: International Responsible Research and Innovation Funding Source: EU FP7 Nº321489 Principal Researcher:Javier Ruiz del Solar Start Date: 02-01-2013 I End Date: 02-01-2016

Risk-sensitive particle filtering framework for failure prognosis and uncertainty representation in nonlinear systems with high-impact/low-likelihood events Principal Researcher: Marcos Orchard Funding Source: FONDECYT 1110070 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2013 Robust and fast vision systems for humanoid robots Principal Researcher: Javier Ruiz del Solar Funding Source: FONDECYT 1090250 Start Date: 03-15-2009 I End Date: 03-15-2013

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Estudio de sedimentación en conductos inclinados Principal Researcher: Christian Ihle Funding Source: FONDECYT 1110201 Start Date: 03-15-2011 I End Date: 03-15-2014



SOFTWARE U-FO Software U-FO, registered in August 2012

completed, the software can generate the resource model using

Registration Number: N °: 219 966, on behalf of the Uni-

conditional simulation. The simulation results are transformed

versity of Chile

back to obtain the final structural model, therefore, circumventing the problem of estimating geological structures through the

The Unfolding software,U-FO, is the result of joint R&D undertaken

use of complex geometries or shapes while, at the same time,

by the Advanced Laboratory for Supercomputing in Geostatistics,

facilitating resource estimation.

ALGES Laboratory, the Department of Mining Engineering at the University of Chile, AMTC and the Yamana Gold Mining Company. BOS2 The U-FO software for geological reconstruction enables to “flat-

Software BOS2,

ten” faults and folds, thus building appropriate planar models of

Registered in March 2012

in-situ geological structures and providing tools for exploratory

Registration Number: N °: 214 665, on behalf of the Uni-

analysis and variographic study.

versity of Chile.

In summary, this software solution identifies geological structures

Blending Optimization Sequencing and Scheduling, BOS2, is a

affected by displacement, applies a leveling algorithm to eliminate

software package developed by Delphos Laboratory at the Mining

structural folding and, using 3D visualization tools,cancels the

Engineering Department and AMTC, under the supervision of

effects produced by the faults. Once the transformations are

researchers Enrique Rubio and Nelson Morales.

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either for the entire mine or for specific areas, considering each

pit mining operations, which allows optimal sequencing of mine

variable and time needed. This allows generation of schedules

blocks´ extraction and processing over time. The software includes

that meet the plant’s requirements, recognize the availability of

standard accessibility restrictions for slope angles and enables the

equipment and enable control of the re-handling.

integration of the blocks´ operational accessibility in a systematic manner either from the banks´ access points or ramps, during

Amongst UDESS advantages are a better block estimation and

each phase of the excavation, in a systematic manner. It also

cost control enabling greater profitability of the mine and re-

includes the management of existing stockpiles. The scheduling

duction in operational risk due to higher level of certainty in the

created by BOS2 also considers constraints related to transport

estimation of the amount of ore to be extracted. It also takes

and processing capacity, minimum movement of ore, either for

into consideration environmental factors, such as, use of arsenic,

the whole mine or for specific areas, considering each attribute

diesel consumption and grinding power.

and time needed, thus allowing the generation of schedules that meet the plant’s requirements, respect the availability of

In summary, it is a flexible software package that enables to plan

equipment and enable the control of the re-handling.

and solve mine planning problems in a comprehensive and consistent manner, faster and smarter, allowing the planner to reach a higher level of analysis and generate more robust plans.

BOS2 is exceptionally flexible; it has been tested on multiple tasks in which it has proven to be a valuable tool for short-term planning, enabling the examination of mid- and long-term planning decisions as well as the study of changes in a sequence according


to multiple parameters, including environmental elements, such as, presence of arsenic, diesel consumption and grinding power.

“Method for determining eye location on a frontal face digital image to validate the frontal face and determine UDESS

points of reference”

Software UDESS, Registered in January 2013

Patent requested in September 2012

Registration Number: N °: 225021, on behalf of the Uni-

This project was led by researcher Claudio Pérez in collabo-

versity of Chile

ration with researchers: Pablo Estevez, Javier Ruiz del Solar, Claudio Held and Carlos Aravena.

UDESS is a software package developed by the Delphos Laboratory at the Mining Engineering Department and AMTC under the

The patent application via Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) focuses

leadership of the academician and researcher Nelson Morales.

primarily on the United States and, in general terms, concerns

It is a planning software applicable to underground mining,

mathematical methods and algorithms to set the location of the

which allows optimal sequencing for block extraction over time.

eyes in a face that is in front of an image to validate that face

By means of mathematical models and advanced optimization

by determining reference points.

techniques, not available in traditional software, the software provides mine planning solution in a more comprehensive fashion: software testing have resulted in generating up to 10% more block value than traditional software. In addition, UDESS includes the management of previously existing stockpiles, considers transportation and processing capacity constraints as well as restrictions on material movement,

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Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

BOS2 is a software package applicable to mine planning at open





The mission of Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences

“We behold a new concept of university academia. It is no

(FCFM) of the University of Chile is the generation, development,

longer each one defending his/her own field of knowledge as

integration and communication of knowledge in basic sciences,

it was in the past. Currently, big players converge now to seek

engineering, earth sciences, economics and management, throu-

joint solutions to face major national problems”. FCFM Dean,

gh actions of teaching, research and outreach, at their highest

Prof. Francisco Brieva.

levels of complexity and at levels of international excellence in the areas of its competence. It also seeks to be a major factor in

The development of research is one of the fundamental pillars

the process of adoption of science and technology in all areas

of FCFM existence. For some years now, the FCFM prompted the

of the national economy.

renewal and development of their academic body and created policies to enhance interdisciplinary research. These decisions have enabled FCFM to respond to some of the scientific and technological challenges facing Chile and the world, leading the Faculty to become the nation’s intellectual reserve in the areas of its competence to meet the current and future needs of Chile. The forward thinking of FCFM´s scientists has enabled the FCFM´s academics to undertake research projects which have a high impact in our country.

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Autonomous Vehicle developed at the Center for Advanced Mining Technology (AMTC)


ISI Papers


Scientific and Technological Centers of Excellence selected under the Baseline Funding Initiative of CONICYT Associative Research Program.


Centers of Excellence in Priority Areas, under FONDAP Program of CONICYT


million Chilean pesos Addressed to research


Master Programs


Undergraduate careers Engineering (9), Astronomy, Physics, Geophysics and Geology


PhD Programs


Master graduated


90% 4.694

Undergraduate students

Graduated students


PhD graduated


Postgraduate students

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90 % of full-time academics count on with PhD degree

Advanced Mining Technology Center / AMTC

Facts & Figures 2012


Direction to AMTC

The Advanced Mining Technology Centre is located within the PLAZA ERCILLA

Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences (FCFM) at the PLAZA ERCILLA Nº 803

Central Santiago Metropolitan Region.





University of Chile, at 850 Beauchef Ave, in the municipality of


FCFM is located in the quadrant formed by the Tupper Avenue and Blanco Encalada Avenue (North – South) and by the Square Ingeniería Civil y Geofísica

Street Ercilla and Beauchef Avenue (East – West). The main en-


Ingeniería Eléctrica

Torre Central Química y Minas


Av, Tupper #2007, 4th Floor, AMTC Bldg. Santiago, Chile.




trance to the AMTC is through the entrance at 2007 Tupper Ave.


(+56 2) 29771000

Biblioteca Central



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Acceso principal BEAUCHEF Nº850




Edificio Escuela


EDITORIAL BOARD EDITORIAL BOARD Javier Ruiz del Solar AMTC Executive Director María Teresa Ramírez AMTC Executive Coordinator Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart AMTC Associate Reseacher CONTENT EDITORS María Teresa Ramírez Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart DESIGN Publisiga Ltda. PRESS Printer IMAGE BANK AMTC FCFM Publisiga

Advanced Mining Technology Center Add: Av. Tupper 2007, Santiago de Chile. Fono: (02) 29771000 contacto@amtc.cl www.amtc.cl

Profile for AMTC

Memoria AMTC en Inglés  

Memoria AMTC en Inglés