Engineering & Mining Journal

MAY 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 13 of 83

REGIONAL NEWS - LATIN AMERICA 12 E&MJ • MAY 2019 Cobre Panama Considers Expansion First Quantum Minerals has filed an up- dated technical report for its Cobre Pan- ama project in Panama that incorporates updates with respect to ramp-up and commissioning of the current operation and provides detail on a planned expan- sion of project throughput from 85 million metric tons per year (mt/y) to 100 million mt/y starting in 2023. The report also in- cludes an updated production schedule and mineral resource and reserve tables that reflect the inclusion of grade-control drill-hole data. Inclusion of the new data has im- proved geological confidence for the proj- ect's Botija pit, but represents no overall material change to the mineral resources and reserves previously disclosed. The expanded throughput to 100 mil- lion mt/y involves earlier development of the adjacent Colina pit, the addition of a ninth mill, an expanded mining equip- ment fleet, additional conveyors, an in-pit crusher, and other infrastructure related to Colina access. The total cost of the expan- sion to 100 million mt/y is estimated at approximately $327 million. Average pro- duction levels of copper in concentrate are expected to exceed 375,000 mt/y after year five. The expansion also significantly improves the overall project economics. The Cobre Panama project is located 120 kilometers (km) west of Panama City, Panama, and 20 km from the Caribbean coast. The topography in the concession area is low elevation (less than 300 m) but rugged, with considerable local relief covered by dense rainforest. Climatic con- ditions are tropical, with high precipitation levels, high humidity, and relatively high temperatures of 25° to 30° C year-round. Mining is based on large-scale, con- ventional open-pit mining methods. Multiple pits will be mined in an opti- mized sequence, with ore crushed in-pit and conveyed overland to a nearby pro- cessing plant. Processing plant design is based on a conventional sulphide ore flotation circuit, with differential flotation producing sepa- rate copper and molybdenum concentrate products. Plant tailings will be directed to an area immediately north of the mine and plant site and also into the depleted Botija pit at the cessation of mining. The copper concentrate product will be piped as a slurry at a distance of 25 km to a port at Punta Rincon on the Carib- bean coast, where it will be loaded on to vessels for shipping to world markets. The molybdenum concentrate will be delivered to port by road and shipped in containers. Project power will be generated by a coal-fired power station at the port and transmitted to the mine site along the same access corridor that accommo- dates the concentrate pipeline. Surplus power can be supplied to the national grid, as available. AMSA Reports 22% Production Increase Chilean mining company, Antofagasta Min- erals S.A. (AMSA), one of the largest play- ers in the world copper industry, reported a 22.6% increase in red metal production in the first quarter of 2019 and main- tained its forecasts for the year. Antofa- gasta mined 188,600 tons of fine copper between January and March, compared to 153,800 tons produced in the same pe- riod last year, in line with estimates for 2019, according to the company. The company also said the results were driven by higher ore quality and bet- ter performance, mainly at its Centinela ore deposit. The annual production fore- cast of 750,000-790,000 tons of copper expected by Antofagasta Minerals re- mains unchanged. "The good level of operational perfor- mance achieved in the second half of 2018 continues and we are in line to achieve a new annual production record," said AMSA Executive President Iván Arriagada. Mosaic Idles Brazilian Mines Mosaic Fertilizantes has idled production at its Tapira and Catalão phosphate mines in Brazil. The company currently has the rock and finished product inventory nec- essary to meet near-term market require- ments, the company said. During this pe- riod and as necessary, the company will also ship phosphates from its operations in Florida and rock from its Peruvian mine for use in Brazilian production to meet customer needs in Brazil. The company is taking these actions to comply with new Brazilian regula- tions governing mine tailings dams. Last month, Mosaic Fertilizantes, with the technical approval of the National Mining Agency (ANM), filed an application for the extension of the deadline for submis- sion of the Stability Condition Statements (DCE) for three of its dams. The company did not receive final agreement from the ANM regarding the requested extension. An aerial photo shows the Cobre Panama processing facilities, which are ramping up to 100 million metric tons per year beginning in 2023. (Photo: First Quantum Minerals) (Continued on p. 22)

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