CMM and Codelco award PiensaCobre Contest winner

CMM and Codelco award PiensaCobre Contest winner

The Center for Mathematical Modeling of the University of Chile (CMM) and Codelco awarded the seven winners of PiensaCobre. This was the second version of the competition of memoirs and theses of doctorate, master, and undergraduate. The competition seeks the Academy contribute to face Mining’s challenges. The idea is to create disruptive and innovative, knowledge and solutions.

“Historically, Codelco has been a leader in the copper industry. With initiatives such as PiensaCobre, the creation of our technology subsidiary Codelco Tech and an open innovation management system, we seek to speed up innovation and technology processes to move towards a new Chilean mining,” said Óscar Landerretche, Codelco’s board chairman.

In the same sense, Landerretche added: “We deeply believe the successes that come ahead depend directly on the value people bring. Our task is to promote, go with and reward those professionals who in the medium term will be the managers of technological breakthroughs in mining.”

Among the winners of the initiative are three foreign students, who live in Chile (from Iran, Colombia, and Bolivia). The 60% of them are women and three theses came from universities in regions. All winners will receive support for funding tuition and other expenses of their studies.

“The role of women in science and research is growing strongly in Chile. And this event is a witness to that,” said Alejandro Jofré, CMM director, as female students received most of the awards. “The thesis of the first contest shows important progress, with a high impact on mining. The same will happen with the winners of this second version. With their enthusiasm, intelligence, and creativity, these young people make a relevant contribution to the sector’s future. The theses work on needs, opportunities, and challenges that nobody will address for us, if we do not do it from our country, with our talents,”.

The competition was framed in the Codelco-CMM alliance, which will result in the development of new knowledge and technologies for the Mining industry. In the challenge, 36 undergraduate, master and undergraduate students from 13 universities participated.

Óscar Landerretche, Codelco director Juan Enrique Morales, and Codelco chief business and innovation officer Jaime Rivera, as well as professionals and innovation experts of the Corporation, formed the jury. Endeavor director Alan Farcas, Fundación Chile Business and Sustainability manager Andrés Pesce were part of the selection committee. The commission chose three doctoral theses, three master, and one undergraduate.

Ph.D. thesis winners

Amin Hekmatnejad, from Universidad de Chile, with the thesis of modeling discontinuities in rock fragmentation. This study of geomechanics is especially useful for the underground extraction method known as block-caving, which is the most used today.

Francisca Werlinger, from the Universidad Católica, with the thesis of metallurgy looking for an alternative of copper extractants more selective and chemically stable than those offered by the market. The study addresses the current deficiencies of the elements used in the solvent extraction (SX) stages within the hydrometallurgy process.

Carmen Lemaitre, from the Universidad de Chile, with a thesis in the environmental field that seeks an alternative of phytoremediation oriented to mining liabilities of the central zone of Chile (there are 73 tailings in Region V, according to the Sernageomín cadastre of December 2015). It also involves the effects on floral visitors (pollinating bees, birds, among others).

Recognized masters students

Giovanni Gahona, from the Universidad de Antofagasta, with the thesis to study an alternative for the leaching of chalcopyrite, sulfide that occurs in nature and is a combination of iron, copper, and sulfur, traditionally processed through pyrometallurgy or smelting.

Javier Andalaft, from the Universidad de Concepción, with the environmental thesis to study the use of nanofiltration to treat acid drainage, one of the main pollutants of large mining, whose main limitation is the filth of its membranes. It is considered to use acid drainage in the Andean Division.

Yina Herazo, from the Universidad de Chile, with the thesis to simulate a mining plan for underground mines, incorporating the effects of probable discrete events (for example interferences, operational restrictions, congestion, assembly and dismantling of subterranean mining of panel caving type).

Undergraduate award-winning thesis

Francisca Canales, from the Federico Santa María Technical University, with the environmental thesis for the study of the use of flotation tailings as a flux in the copper concentrate melting process. If the relay material can be used as a flux, it would have an economic impact on reducing its use in a foundry reactor. Besides, it would contribute to the reduction of the collection, minimizing its environmental impact.

Posted on May 4, 2017 in Frontpage, News