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A New Technology

for Processing Hydrometallurgical Copper Ore

Cobre Las Cruces Project


Geological
Resource

Total Measured Indicated


Resource
KTons
KT
KTons Cu % Cu KTons Cu % KTons Cu %

HCH/HCL 16,887 6.19 1,045 9,790 6.42 7,097 5.87

HC4/X 738 7,02 52 738 7.02

Total 17,625 6.22 1,097 9,790 6.42 7,835 5.97


The massive sulphide deposits of Las Cruces
Mineralogy
Pyrite
Chalcocite/Digenite
Covelite
Chalcopyrite
HCL Arsenic pyrite
Galena
HCH Blende

shades of red and pink: exploitable reserves of high grade 
copper
In green: resources of copper, zinc and lead
PIT
PLANTA
HYDROMETALLURGICAL  PLANT
DESING  CRITERIA 

Mineral Processing
Mineral Processing t/y 1,300,000
1 300 000
Ore Grade  % 6.2
Copper Production
Copper Production t/y 72 000
72,000

Total Ore Processing
Total Ore Processing t 17,600,000
17 600 000
Total Copper  t 1,000,000

Project Life years 15
CRUSHING AND 
SCREENING CIRCUIT

TERTIARY SCREEN

SECUNDARY SCREEN
ROCK BREAKER

FINE ORE SILO

APRON FEEDER

PRIMARY
JAW CRUSHIER
SECONDRY TERTIARY
CONE CRUSHIER CONE CRUSHIER

Capacity
i t/d
/d 3,562
Availability 75%
P(80)                   mm           11
GRINDING AND 
CLASSIFICATION CIRCUIT
CLASSIFICATION CIRCUIT
WATER

ORE Flocculants

SPIRAL CLASSIFIER
CYCLONE CLASSIFIER

GRINDING THICKENER
GRINDING THICKENER

BALL MILL

Capacity t/d 3,562


Availability %    90
P(80)
P(80)               µm 75
Slurry Density  U/F   t/m3 2.61
% solid   80
LEACH CIRCUIT
Capacity t/d 3,562
Availability %              90
RAFFINATE
Raffinate m3/h         313
O2
(FeT)Ref g/L            50
H2SO4 Fe3+/Fe2+ 1
Temperature                 ºC 90
Leach time h 8
ORE Copper extraction         % 91.8
ILS 2+)
)
(Cu PLS g/L
g/L           43
43
LEACH  
REACTORS
Oxygen Consumption  t/h             6.6
LEACH 
FEED  COOLING  Acid Consumption        kg/t         20
TANK TOWERS

PL
S
LEACH  THIICKENER
GYPSUN THICKENER

PLS POND
PLS POND H2O  
O
WASHING

SECUNDARY PLS SLURRY FILTERS
VACUUM  PUMP

TAIL
SOLVENT EXTRACTION
PLANT
Capacity t Cu/d              200
Availability %                       90
PLS Flow
PLS Flow m3/h                 274
/h 274
3
Organic Flow               m /h                 955
PLS 
POND Electrolyte Flow         m3/h                 698
POLISHING
Extractant LIX 973                 32%
FILTERS ELECTROLYTE 
FILTERS
RIC H  ELECTROLYTE  CIRCULATION  TANK
ELECTROLYTE 
TANK

WASHING  STEP STRIPPING  STEP

W S‐2 S‐1
RAFFINATE 
POND

EXTRACTION  STEP

E‐1 E‐2 E‐3

LOAD ORGANIC 
LOAD ORGANIC
TANK
ELECTROWINNING
PLANT

Capacity t Cu/d               200
Current Density             A/m2             301
Current Efficiency            %                    92
RIC H
RIC H 
ELECTROLYTE  ELECTROLYTE  CIRCULATION   Cathode Cycle                Day                    7
h d l
TANK
TANK Electrolyte Cell                 Nº                144
NEUTRALIZATION 
SYSTEM
FILTERS WASH WATER
PRE NEUTRALIZATION WITH  CaO
AQUEOUS  WASH  STAGE
Solution Flow  m3/h/ 27
RAFFINATE
H+ Neutralization Flow      g/L 3
Ca 2(OH)

PLS
SECONDARY

SECONDARY EXTRACTION  
UNLOAD ORGANIC OF S2

SECONDARY
RAFFINATE
SEMILOAD ORGANIC TO E3

NEUTRALIZATION WITH  CaO

TO GUADALQUIVIR RIVER

Solution Flow  m3/h 133


pH Neutralization  8.5 – 9.5 TAILING 
RAMP ‐UP

A year since the start of the operation of the plant, the


ramp-up has not been according to expectations,
mainly due to:

- Quality of materials used (thickeners, filters, etc. ..)


- Design errors (thick)
- Errors of construction / assembly
- Difficulties in the process (solid / liquid separation)
- Inexperience of staff

Expected to reach commercial production (> 60%) in


June 2010.
Expect to reach design capacity 4th quarter 2010.
2010