Las Bambas Container Bulk Handling Optimization

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  • CommodityCopper
  • LocationPeru
  • Business lineTransportation Systems, Ports and Terminals
  • ClientMMG Limited
  • Timeframe2014-2016
  • Solution phaseEvaluate, Innovate, Create
  • ServicesEngineering, Construction management, Studies and technical solutions

The Las Bambas project was under construction when MMG Limited (MMG) purchased the property located near Cusco, Peru at 4,300 m above sea level.

The plan was to develop a complete logistics system for containerized bulk handling of 1.4 Mt/y of copper concentrate – delivering from the mine site to a third party export facility in Matarani.

Ausenco assisted MMG with the design and implementation of the concentrate logistics, which included a 420 km truck haul, a Transfer Station, and a 310 km rail haul to Port. We also conducted trade-off studies of transport options from previous owners and new proposals.

Based on findings from the studies and the use of our simulation model to optimize the supply chain, we developed a solution to ensure logistics were in place to meet plant start-up.

We designed a container loading and lid handling facility at the mine that can be integrated into the system in compliance to the requirements for container design, customized tractor and trailer units, and compatibility of the rotary spreader.

A particular challenge was to meet an accelerated production schedule, while the Pillones Transfer Station and the Matarani Port “Berth F” facilities were being developed and commissioned. We modified the system on a “fast-tack” basis to accommodate container handling and unloading, bulk storage, and ship loading.

Ausenco was able to create a versatile system that allowed early export shipping prior to the completion of the new berth facilities. Along with the optimization of the entire logistics system, we minimized operational costs based on the reduction of capital expenditure for the truck fleet. The sealed containers achieved 8% higher capacity per truck than open-top bulk trailers.

Through this containerized system and the transfer from trucks to trains, we were able to avoid the congested road system passing the Arequipa city and we reduced risk of spillage in cases of truck incident.

Learn more about the implementation of containerized bulk handling at Las Bambas in this Insight by Joel Shirriff, VP and Global Practice Lead, Terminals and Transportation.

Click here to watch a video of the multi-modal bulk handling process in action (Video by RAM Spreaders).