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Las Bambas Copper Mine: Positive Outlook for Construction Progress in the Andes

AMSTETTEN/GERMANY, September 9, 2013 - The site of the new Las Bambas copper mine is in one of the remotest regions of the Andes. The work on building the ore-extraction infrastructure is currently the biggest construction project in Peru, comprising several crushing plants, tunnels and a dam. Contractors Bechtel have taken up the manifold challenges of this vast new facility located at over 4000 m above sea level, with Doka at their side as their partner for formwork technology.

construction site of the Las Bambas Copper Mine in the Andes

What will soon be Peru’s biggest copper mine is under construction at an elevation of over 4000 m above sea level. The extensive mine infrastructure is taking shape with the aid of versatile formwork systems such as Dam formwork D22 and Framed formwork Framax Xlife. | photo: Doka

Versatile Systems in a tough Environment

The geographical location of the jobsites presents a great challenge in itself. They are in the centre of the high plateau of the Peruvian Andes, at an elevation of over 4000 m. There is only one narrow gravel 70 km road leading to the site, and transporting formwork equipment from the depot to the mine can take up to a week. What is more, the situation on the ground means that the construction plan is very often changed at short notice.
The mine facility is very extensive, with construction work taking place both above and below ground. It comprises installations for crushing the extracted copper ore, tunnel systems, buildings for further processing of the raw materials, a dam and a reservoir. 
Individual Solution for extreme Conditions
The sheer scale of this construction project and of its various sub-projects means that huge quantities of formwork equipment are in service. Most of the works are being carried out using 4500 m2 of Framed formwork Framax Xlife and 500 m3 of Load-bearing towers Staxo 100.
The ore breaking and crushing installations comprise outsize foundations, concrete blocks and steelwork, on which the machinery is stood. The high-performing Framed formwork Framax Xlife system is suited for large areas of this type, and for high walls. Casting sections of up to 7 m in height can swiftly be accomplished with it. The system-grid makes the product simple to handle, and fast to erect and dismantle. The crane-jumped Climbing formwork MF240 is being used for the massive walls of the crushing plants. It is suitable for any height and type of structure, for quickly ‘getting up to height’.

Dependable Products for many different Challenges

Construction of the two approximately 80 m long tunnels has presented the site-team with some formidable challenges. It is through these 9 m wide and over 9 m high tunnels that the excavated material will be transported. A short distance from the mine, a small dam is being built to supply the site with fresh water. This 8 m tall and 70 m long dam is being formed and cast in a very straightforward manner using a solution consisting of Framax framed formwork, Doka supporting construction frames and Dam formwork D22.