Rockwell lands $50 million contract for Chilean mine

Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation's Milwaukee headquarters.

Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation Inc. will supply control systems for the Chuquicamata super cave mine in Chile as part of a $50 million contract with one of the world’s largest copper producers, the company announced Wednesday.

Rockwell Automation
Rockwell Automation’s Milwaukee headquarters.

The deal calls for Rockwell to collaborate with Codelco, the national copper corporation of Chile, to transform a century-old, open-pit mine into “a technologically advanced ‘super cave’ mine that uses a block-caving extraction process.” The approach will extend the life of the mine by 40 years.

“We are pleased that Codelco has selected us for this epic mining project,” said Alejandro Capparelli, president, Rockwell Automation Latin America. “Our work together will increase mine throughput and lower operating costs. By leveraging Rockwell Automation’s integrated control and information systems, connected services and deep domain expertise, Codelco will extract more value at every stage of their mining operation.”

Rockwell will be providing detailed engineering, supply, configuration and assembly of four systems that make up the mine’s control system. The work includes an operational platform, security system, supervision and control networks, predictive maintenance and a general administrative network.

The project is expected to start in mid-2019 and Rockwell is currently working on engineering and construction. The mine will produce a projected 320,000 tons of fine copper and 15,000 tons of molybdenum annually when operational.

At almost $450 million, Latin America represented roughly 7 percent of Rockwell’s sales in fiscal 2017. Sales were up 2.6 percent in the region and 4.1 percent after excluding foreign currency exchange and acquisitions.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.