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ContiTech to provide belts for mine project in Chile

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The conveyor belts from ContiTech minimize indentation rolling resistance, the firm said, and energy consumption during the transport of raw materials can be reduced by 25 percent.

HANOVER, Germany—A large-scale mining project in Chile is going to keep the ContiTech Conveyor Belt Group pretty busy for at least the next two years.

ContiTech's conveyor belts and belt monitoring systems are being delivered for the development and expansion of the El Teniente copper mine, which is run by mine operator Codelco.

"Altogether, ContiTech is delivering all conveyor belts for this project," a ContiTech spokesman said.

The prime goal of the $3.1 billion project, called Nuevo Nivel Mina, is to open new copper reserves in a deeper layer of the mountain so that mining can take place underground, he said.

More than 12 miles of rubber-coated steel cord belts are expected to be installed at the site between the latter part of 2013 and 2017 by ContiTech, which received the belting order from equipment manufacturer Tenova TAKRAF.

The company said it is using conveyor belts that reduce energy consumption by up to 25 percent and modern belt monitoring systems, including Conti Protect and Conti Inspect, to ensure safe and reliable operation with minimal maintenance costs.

"Mining at El Teniente began in the 19th Century," the spokesman said, and it has been run by Codelco since 1971.

Exploration for deeper copper deposits secures the future of the mine and ensures the mine continues operating until 2064, he said.

The project itself will require about 2,400 workers during the mine expansion construction phase.

ContiTech became involved in the latest El Teniente project when it submitted a proposal for belts in early 2012, the spokesman said.

The company signed a contract to supply belting for the mine in early 2013, he said, adding that ContiTech and Codelco have cooperated successfully in the past on other mine projects.

Its new conveyor belt system will be used to transport mined rock. The steel cord belts are manufactured with an XLL Compound, a special, energy optimized rubber composition, according to the company.

Because the rubber compound significantly improves visco-elastic properties, the indentation rolling resistance on the conveyor belt system is minimized, according to Claus Peter Spille, head of ContiTech's Mining World segment.

In comparison with conventional conveyor belts, he said, the system enables energy consumption during the transfer of raw materials to be cut by 25 percent, which significantly reduces energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions.

Because the rubber compound significantly improves visco-elastic properties, the indentation rolling resistance on the conveyor belt system is minimized, Spille said.