Codelco and Rio look for better technologies to mine and refine copper

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first_imgRio Tinto and Codelco have entered into the Río de Cobre (River of Copper) technology alliance agreement.  This new alliance allows both companies to jointly pursue next generation copper mining and processing technology development.  The aim is to deliver safer, more energy efficient and lower cost of production from both current and next generation open-pit and deep underground mines whilst operating with a lower a overall environmental impact.Governed by an independent chair and vice chair, Río de Cobre will pursue step change technology development in the areas of surface mining, underground mining and copper mineral recovery. Rio Tinto is already a world leader in automated open-pit mining with its work in the Pilbara of Western Australia (to be examined in more detail in IM, January 2010. Both companies are leaders in block caving and the automation of those underground operations.Tom Albanese, Rio Tinto’s chief executive said, “I am delighted that we have entered into the Río de Cobre alliance with Codelco.  Combining the Rio Tinto Mine of the FutureTM effort with the industry renowned copper technology expertise of Codelco positions both of our companies to best confront the challenges posed by the increasing demand for copper.”Codelco chief executive Jose Pablo Arellano said, “Today, Codelco as leader of the copper mining industry is extremely pleased to be signing the Rio de Cobre Alliance with Rio Tinto. This initiative will make possible a major technological breakthrough collaboration between the worlds largest innovators in the mining industry, starting the effort to meet the challenges in underground mine where we have the largest operation projects in the copper industry.”last_img

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