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Industrial Sector



Andina Division, Codelco


At an altitude of 2,200 metres above sea level in the Valparaíso Region.



Service Areas



Basic engineering, trade-off analysis, water use reports, design of RILES impulsion, analysis of water scenarios, pitoning system for dam repulping, pumping system, tailings transport, design of cathodic projection system for pipes, seismic analysis and dynamic behaviour, estimation of CAPEX and OPEX, and use of BIM methodology.

December 29, 2021

Codelco’s Andina Division started its operations in the late 1960s, with the exploitation of the Rio Blanco deposit through underground mining and, subsequently, adding to its operations the open-pit exploitation of the Sur Sur and Don Luis mines.

In November 1993, Codelco voluntarily submitted the Long Term Tailings Disposal System Project, Ovejería Dam Project, to the Environmental Impact Assessment System (SEIA).

The selection of the Ovejería estate in the Til Til valley by Codelco to build the dam to deposit its tailings, i.e. the waste left over after the extraction, milling, concentration and flotation of the ore, was due to the fact that it had several advantages for the construction of the tailings dam: its isolation; the clayey nature of its soil; the size of the basin, which has a capacity to store the tailings that the Andina Division will produce over the next 160 years; and, finally, the security represented by the 16-metre high starting wall of compacted sand that is impermeable.

This major engineering project, which involved the construction of 83 kilometres of reinforced concrete channels in five years, has been in operation since December 1999, and carries the tailings to the Ovejería dam through the Tailings Transport System (STR).

Within the framework of this Andina megaproject, Pares&Alvarez carried out the basic engineering for the Piuquenes Dam Closure Plan, which considers the removal of 25 MM/ton of tailings plus 8 MM/ton of dam walls; the necessary works for the execution of the Piuquenes dam repulping with the hydraulic removal method by pitoneo, to then treat and pump this flow to the tailings chute of the STR.

In addition, for this project Pares&Alvarez developed the 3D design with BIM methodology in all disciplines. In this way, the administration was speeded up and there was greater control of the information, being able to visualise and optimise the design, interferences between disciplines, updating of cubic metres and plans.