The replica, also known as the mirror, is controlled by the Integrated Operations Center, which is considered the “brain” of Quellaveco.
In a press release, Anglo American said there are digital twins in areas such as grinding systems, flotation, tailings management, water control and electrical systems. Using artificial intelligence, the twins “learn” how things should work out and make recommendations to avoid equipment or process failures, optimizing cost and time.
For example, Anglo mentions the possibility to enter pump parameters and see its behavior. If it doesn’t work properly, the parameters can be changed as many times as necessary until the correct data produces valid results that can be brought into the real world.
“NASA first used this technology more than 50 years ago when the crew of the Apollo 13 mission suffered a malfunction in their spacecraft that prevented them from landing on the Moon,” the statement read. “With the development of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence-based information management, digital twins have achieved impressive technological leaps and are now applied in different industries.”
According to the miner, Quellaveco is the first 100% digital mine in Peru and one of the first to implement digital twin technology to improve efficiency and safety.
The mine, which has received $5.5 billion in investment, began trial production of copper concentrate last July and is expected to produce between 80,000 and 100,000 tonnes in 2022. Once operations ramp up, annual production is expected to reach 300,000 tpa for the first 10 years.
Quellaveco is owned by Anglo American and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, with 60% and 40% capital respectively.