Shipping minerals from the Atacama to the Pacific


Puerto Punta Totoralillo is located 25 kilometers north of Caldera, where the material sent from the different plants is received to complete the shipping process to its final destination.


The processes currently in place consist of:

  1. Receipt of iron ores through concentrators, filtering, stockpiling and shipment.
  2. Receipt by trucks, stockpiling and shipment of iron ores.
  3. Receipt by trucks, stockpiling and shipment of copper ores.


Once the pulp is received at the shock stations, it passes to the handling area for density increase (70% solids) and then to be processed in ceramic filters to separate the solid phase from the liquid phase.


The liquid phase from both filter plants at the Magnetite Plant and Cerro Negro Norte is returned to the second plant, after mixing with desalinated water, through a recirculation circuit of process water from the Copiapó valley, reaching 7,000 m3 per day.

The solid phase, which is an iron concentrate with 8.75% humidity, is sent to two storage pits, previously weighed at the outlet of both filter plants. The Magnetite ore is stockpiled in the No. 1 storage yard, which has a capacity of 350,000 MT, and the CNN ore is stockpiled in the No. 2 yard, with a storage space of 400,000 MT.


For the shipping process, the iron ore is recovered by front-end loaders and deposited in bins located on the first conveyor belt of both fields.

The shipping line has conveyor belts mounted in the land area and another mounted in the maritime area. Finally, this process ends in a radial type ship loader for the correct distribution of the concentrate in the warehouses.