Image: Las Bambas: Container Bulk Handling Optimization

Minerals & Metals2 min read

Las Bambas: Container Bulk Handling Optimization

Cusco, Peru
MMG Limited (MMG)
2014 - 2016

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.

MMG required a complete logistics system for the containerized bulk handling of 1.5 Mt/y of copper concentrate – delivering from the mine site to a third-party export facility in Matarani, Peru. 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 the port. Ausenco also conducted trade-off studies of transport options from previous owners as well as 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 integrated into the system in compliance to the requirements for container design, customized tractor and trailer units, and ensured 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. Ausenco modified the system on a “fast-track” basis to accommodate container handling and unloading, bulk storage, and ship loading.

Ausenco designed a versatile system that allowed for 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 while reducing the risk of spillage in the case of truck incidents.