Atlas Copco won a contract to deliver a number of large range Pit Viper rotary blasthole drills to Chilean mining company Minera Los Pelambres.

Minera Los Pelambres owns one of the largest copper mines in the world, and chose Atlas Copco’s Drilling Solutions division to deliver four large blasthole drills for copper mining at the company’s Los Pelambres mine, which is operated by Antofagasta Minerals. The order was booked at the end of 2013 and will be delivered later in 2014.

In 2011, feasibility studies were initiated to expand Los Pelambres, which were finalized in 2013. One of the results of this research was that it became necessary for the mine to modernize the fleet in order to increase productivity and introduce new technologies, which have been developed in the Pit Viper series.

"We are confident about the productivity of Atlas Copco’s equipment as well as its progress in technology that has been demonstrated from the start of our operation," said José Las Heras, drilling and blasting superintendent from Los Pelambres mine. The executive added that Atlas Copco offers, within the Large Blasthole line, the electric and diesel versions. "With regard to the latter, we are very pleased, and we tested its versatility and mobility within the pit," he concluded.

This is not the first time Minera Los Pelambres has chosen Atlas Copco as its blasthole drills supplier. In addition to the four blasthole drills on order, Minera Los Pelambres has two Pit Viper 351 electrics and three Pit Viper 351 diesel rigs. The new drills will all be installed with Atlas Copco’s Rig Control System, which is computerized and automated rock drilling software.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to continue working with Minera Los Pelambres in this very strategic South American market,” said Peter Salditt, president of Atlas Copco’s Drilling Solutions division. “Our dedication to increasing the technology capabilities of our drills, and building a highly mobile, versatile unit is what attracted Minera Los Pelambres to us once again. This illustrates our presence in the region and our dedication to the blasthole market.”

Atlas Copco, based in Stockholm, Sweden, serves segments ranging from compressors and air treatment systems to construction, mining and drilling equipment. The company, founded in 1873, has more than 39,800 employees worldwide, and operates in more than 170 countries. Atlas Copco in North America operates in more than 109 locations and employs more than 4,500 people in the United States. For more information, visit www.atlascopco.us.