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Aitik Copper Mine, Gallivare, Sweden

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Aitik Copper Mine, Gallivare, Sweden

Aitik Copper Mine, Gallivare, Sweden

Aitik copper mine mines owned Boliden. Located Gallivare northern Sweden low-grade Aitik copper deposit discovered 1930s.

Bulk-mining technology exploitation feasible 1960s Europe's large low-grade pit copper mine started 1968 production rate 2t ore. then series pushbacks increased output approximately 19t year. concentrator expanded parallel ships 200,000t Ronnskar smelter.

Aitik wholly owned Boliden consolidation Outokumpu's copper zinc smelting activities into Boliden January 2004.

Boliden approved investment Skr5.2bn ($790m) expansion operations (Aitik 36) 2006. project completed 2010 cost Skr6.1bn ($865m per 29 September 2010 exchange rates).

"Once expansion complete Aitik double its annual production 36t."

On average mined rate 1t per hour. Production Aitik 43t hours. completion expansion expected increase 55t hours doubling its annual production 36t.

The expansion expected reduce mine cash costs $0.80 per $0.43 per pound. expansion extend mine's 2016 2029 increasing copper silver production adding production molybdenum. lowering costs reserves doubled.

Before expandion mine employed 430 people 280 mine. expansion employee count increase 580.


The Aitik expansion project involved installation conveying systems construction concentrator acquisition equipment including P&H 4,100C shovel fleet nine Cat 795 haulers.

A rail link connecting constructed expansion.

Geology reserves

The Aitik mine's orebody hosted basin volcanic rocks surrounded granitic intrusions within supracrustal metamorphosed shear zone Precambrian age. Biotite schists volcanic sequence disseminated chalcopyritic mineralisation averaging 0.40% copper silver values.

Mining Aitik started basis 50t reserve 1998 mine yielded 300t ore. November 2009 reserves 747t grading 0.25% copper 0.14g per tonne gold 1.7g per tonne silver 29g per tonne molybdenum.

Proven probable reserves amount 518t 229t respectively. Measured indicated resources estimated 1.37t.

Mining Aitik

Aitik single pit divided into southern section reached depth 250m northern proceeding towards ultimate 400m.

The strip ratio below 1:1 – 1.8t per month waste 1.6t per month mid-2004.

"Mining started basis 50t reserve 1998 Aitik yielded 300t."

During 1989–91 expansion Roxon installed in-pit station linked concentrator underground conveyors.

Extraction starts drilling 311mm holes bored rotary rigs preparation Nonel blasting because Aitik prone violent thunderstorms.

Aitik reintroduced electric rope shovels rotary DTH drills obtained closed Los Frailes mine Spain.

Supplementary drilling clean-up around shovels contracted out.

Ore processing

Autogenous ball mill grinding followed conventional flotation system design being typically 'Boliden'. enhanced installation Microcel flotation columns.

The AG mills supplied Metso largest world grinding capacity 2,200t per hour. fed mill sized minus 400mm delivered stockpile capacity store 200,000t. transported via 7km-long conveyor system.

About 3.5km conveyor runs underground in-pit crusher semi-mobile in-pit crusher installed depth 285m within mine.

Another semi-mobile in-pit crusher installed Aitik pit Salmij?rvi satellite pit waste stripping processed.

The Aitik mine's entire operations controlled ABB's 800xA automation system. centrally located control system automatically regulates belt speed depending supply.

The expansion raised mine's throughput match its higher output.

Pressure filtered concentrate transported purpose-designed containers Boliden's Ronnskar smelter Skelleftehamn Baltic coast 400km mine site.

Production Aitik

A concentrator built expansion capacity doubled 36t. environmental permits granted operations Aitik 36 commenced 2010 four-year construction period. Boliden producing 33t annual capacity rise 36t 2014.

"The Aitik entire operations controlled ABB's 800xA automation system."

Enhancing economics Aitik 36 concentrator includes molybdenum recovery circuit providing Boliden metal revenue source.

Additionally stockpiled waste become commercial future used construction roads aggregate ballast. Attention focused producing products waste rock suited construction industry.

Around 100,000t waste removed operations 2010.

In 2006 concentrator throughput 18.5t 21.9t waste removed. feed grades 0.4% copper 0.25g per tonne 2.72g per tonne silver 2006 mine produced 240,000t copper concentrate. concentrate contains 66,100t copper 35,700kg silver 2,340kg gold.

Aitik contractors

In 2007 ABB awarded $27m contract supply 22.5MW gearless drives autogenous grinding mills installed expansion.

In addition company supplied sets 5MW drives secondary mills 650 motors 230 motor drives transformers increased consumption gas-insulated voltage switch gear 200 low-voltage switchgear units harmonic filter system.

To guarantee efficient operations September 2010 Boliden awarded maintenance service contract ABB automation solutions.

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