The enormous underground mine in Copiapo, within the Atacama region of Chile, is rich in silver and copper, which is why the northern city possesses a bronze statue of Juan Godoy – discoverer of the Copiapo mines in the 19th century to represent the town’s rich copper status. Another landmark in Volvo Construction Equipment’s 25 year relationship with Chilean copper miner, Pucobre.
Chile's mining industry, developed during the 20th century, has made the country the world's top producer of copper. The northern desert contains great mineral deposits of gold, silver, and copper, and boasts a hot Mediterranean climate, whereas the south is rich in forests and grazing lands featuring a string of volcanoes and lakes.
Copper has been used for thousands of years thanks to its high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable, and it is used as a building material, as well as an essential component of various metal alloys.
Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has a long and successful association of supplying machines and supporting the Chilean mining industry.
“The difference with Volvo is that the company continually invests in technology to increasingly enhance the quality of its products and adapt them to meet the needs of its Chilean customers,” states Volvo CE commercial director, Gilson Capato. “In addition to this, it also offers a set of services that ensures the necessary support in equipment maintenance.”
The test of time
Pucobre bought its first Volvo products, four BM 4400 wheel loaders, in 1983 and five years later the company introduced the first customized equipment at Pucobre: two 5350B articulated haulers with low emission engines. The package also included two BM 4500 wheel loaders that were put to good use at the mine.