El Mauro

IV Region, Chile

We took part in the project to expand the Los Pelambres copper mine by building the pipelines for the El Mauro tailings dam.

  • +60 km

    of parallel pipelines.

  • 2,350

    workers at peak of construction.

  • 1,800

    msl - average altitude of the works.


El Mauro tailings dam

The new dam will allow Los Pelambres to continue producing copper in the area for the next thirty years.

Key facts

  • May 2006

    Start date

  • December 2007

    End date

  • 40,000

    engineering labor hours

  • USD 133,866

    Contract amount

  • May 2006

    Start date

  • December 2007

    End date

  • 40,000

    engineering labor hours

  • USD 133,866

    Contract amount

Customer Minera Los Pelambres
Scope of work EPC

Market Segment


Techint's work involved building two parallel pipelines: the first to transport waste from the mine, across 50 kilometers of mountainous terrain to the El Mauro tailings dam, while the second pipeline was to send the water previously used to transport the tailings in the opposite direction.

The pumping system uses carbon steel pipes internally lined with rubber and polyurethane, and a centrifugal pump, which runs off an electric motor of approximately 3,700 HP, to drive the treated and recovered water back up the slope. Techint carried out the earthworks, civil works, and the assembly of structures, piping, and electrical works as well as assembling the instruments, controls, equipment and boilers.

We are driving mining development in Chile

Find out why we are recognized for our excellence in pipeline installation.


The Choapa Valley lies in the foothills of the Andes, near the town of Ramadilla, in the Los Vilos Commune.

  • IV Region

  • -31.871607


  • -70.810581


Excellence in pipeline installation

May 2006 - December 2007

  • Tailings dam

    This is the dam where residue from the mining exploitation process is deposited.


  • Header system

    To build the filtering plant, Techint undertook the largest continuous concrete pouring exercise in its history. Hundreds of mixer trucks lined up to pour concrete during 24 straight hours for its construction.


  • Sieving

    The sands are filtered through a sieve with a mesh opening of 1.5 mm. and subsequently mixed with water.


  • Pumping system

    The pumps send the slurry through the pipeline. The tailings flowing through the pipeline are 45% water and 55% solids.



  • Crossing mountains

    Part of the tailings pipeline route travels along tunnels which burrow through large mountains. There are 8 km of tunnels along the entire route, built in such a way as to prevent the tailings from flowing through the pipes too fast.


  • Speed

    The flow of tailings in the pipeline must be constant and steady as any increase in speed could erode the steel.



  • Archaeological heritage

    Choapa Valley’s archaeological heritage as one of the most significant pre-Colombian sites in Chile had a considerable impact on the work in its early stages, and this resulted in several delays. Archaeologists and researchers took part in excavations to recover pieces and remains discovered during the soil removal stages which were identified as belonging to a community that had inhabited the area over 700 years earlier.


  • The slope

    La pendiente mínima del ducto debe ser de 7mm cada 10 metros. Lograr esta inclinación con tramos de tuberías que pesan entre 120 y 140 toneladas resulta todo un desafíos.


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