The Codegua Plan to Modernize the Mine Haldeman: We devised what is called the Codegua plan. Codegua is a little town just a few miles north of Rancagua, the rail terminal. Why was it there? That was a natural valley. It went up and almost connected with the valley where El Teniente mine was. If you're looking north-south, Codegua was just about west of the mine of this little canyon that went up there- -but never connected over. To get to our mine, you went from Rancagua, went south, looped up El Teniente canyon, and back north to the mine. We were mining from Sewell, going in from level Teniente 5 and going up. It's an upside mine. All the ore that we mined up above, we dropped in the ore passes, which was a primary crushing operation in itself. It went out to the concentrator here, and the concentrates were shipped by an aerial tramway to Caletones, about twenty kilometers down. We knew that by mining here by this method and bringing the ore out to this town, where we had paternalism, high costs, and people with social problems, the unions had everybody captive there. Socialists and communists dominated this union. People couldn't run away; they couldn't go out and spend a weekend at the beach, like they can living in Rancagua. They're held captive. If they want to have an assembly, they would knock on doors, get everybody out, and vote for a strike. It was a wonderful method. We figured that maybe by the year 1980 we would be pressed to feed this concentrator. We would be mining just about this level, and there was a tremendous reserve of a billion or two billion tons of ore below this. Sooner or later, sometime in the future, somebody has to go down to a lower level. You can go down in another level, from 7,000 to 5,000 feet, but if you went to Codegua you went to 2,000 feet, and there you had mining beyond the year 2100 if you wanted.
Index to Haldeman Interview