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Pucobre and HARD-LINE team up to test semi-autonomous technology for underground mining

Chilean miner aims to achieve 20 per cent improvement to productivity in copper mine
Pucobre miners operating an underground LHD using HARD-LINE’s TeleOp Auto system.

COPIAPÓ, CHILE – May 19, 2021: A new partnership between Chilean copper producer Pucobre and HARD-LINE, a global technology company, could be the start of something exciting. After signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in September 2019, Pucobre is testing HARD-LINE’s TeleOp Auto at an underground mine in Copiapó, Chile. TeleOp Auto is a system that allows autonomous control of LHDs and trucks from a safe distance at a control station.

“The pilot project is going very well. We really feel the interest from HARD-LINE, and that is really important to us,” says Carlos Morales, Pucobre’s chief technology officer. For phase one, one LHD is being operated through semi-autonomous technology, with the goal of a 20% improvement to productivity in the mine. “TeleOp Auto is a tool that will allow us to have a safer operation and improve our mine design. It’s a strategic project, it’s not just about the technology,” says Morales. He adds with this technology, the mine is going to be more efficient.

HARD-LINE’s project manager in Chile, Felipe Aguirre, says he is impressed with the early results. “We are getting all of the information we need for doing the calculations and to provide Pucobre all of the information they need to decide if this will help in their mining process.”

This marks the first time the Copiapó mine has used this type of autonomous technology.  “We are confident that the use of the autonomous technology will help Pucobre meet the production goals, with reduced costs. This will also lead to the application of TeleOp technology to other equipment used in the mine such as drilling, and haulage,” says HARD-LINE Chile's general manager, Brian Larocque.

Morales adds, “For us, it is a big step because if we are successful in this project, we expect several optimizations in the whole mining process.”


HARD-LINE is a global technology company specializing in remote-control technology and machine automation. We create innovative products that save lives while increasing efficiency for many industries.

About Pucobre

We are a Chilean capital mining company specialized in the exploitation of medium-sized copper deposits. Our operations are located mainly in the Atacama Region, with various extraction and processing points for this mineral.