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Antamina Copper-Zinc Mine, Peru

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Antamina Copper-Zinc Mine, Peru

Antamina Copper-Zinc Mine, Peru

The Antamina copper-zinc mine located Andes Mountains Peru approximately 285km Lima Department Ancash. elevation mine 4,300m level.

The mine into production joint venture comprising Canadian companies Noranda Inc (33.75%) TeckCominco Ltd. (22.5%) Australian-UK-based BHP Billiton (33.75%) Japanese firm Mitsubishi Corp. (10.0%). subsequent merger Noranda its subsidiary Falconbridge acquisition Falconbridge 2006 Xstrata Noranda's holding into Xstrata's portfolio.

During mid-1990s Antamina deposit considered largest undeveloped copper/zinc orebody world.

Construction following completion feasibility 1998 Bechtel being appointed principal engineering contractor project.

Following construction concentrator infrastructure pre-production stripping overburden (around 161Mt waste moved 2001 alone) mine commissioned December 2001 budget ahead schedule.

The mine employed maximum 8,500 construction workforce around 900.

Antamina geology

Antamina polymetallic skarn orebody regional structural trend parallel Andean Cordillera Trend. Major geological faulting associated jointing intruded multi-phased quartz-monzonite porphyry 9.8Ma resulting intrusives being contact older Jumasha limestone Formation.

The calcic skarn thus produced mineralised extensive hydrothermal solutions forming least distinctive zones. Adjacent limestone contact copper occurs mainly chalcopyrite. Zinc bismuth occur type generally garnet contacts limestone marble hornfels present. Molybdenum present intrusive core silver skarn lithologies.

By mid 2008 proven reserves Antamina 100Mt graded 1.14% copper 0.17% zinc 8.7g/t silver 0.036% molybdenum. Reserves copper sulphide 454Mt 1.05% copper 0.17% zinc 9.7g/t silver 0.031% Molybdenum. Measured indicated inferred resources 132Mt 579Mt 489Mt respectively.

Silver associated types copper contains molybdenum. 2007 three-year programme regional exploration began resource enhancement drilling project. project drilling conducted depth 101,000m 2007. additional 115,000m resource definition drilling carried 2008.

Mining

" 2007 three-year programme regional exploration began resource enhancement drilling project."

Mining conventional truck-and-shovel open-pit methods being processed grinding flotation. Crushed conveyed 2.7km-long tunnel concentrator stockpiles.

The concentrator milling rate 70,000t/d largest single-circuit SAG-milling operation world. SAG mill provides feed ball milling flotation feed ball mills featuring variable-speed drives enable mills handle range different hardness Antamina.

Ore-control procedures designed allow types simultaneously enabling type sent concentrator maximise recoveries.

Before production began grade-control guidelines established include definition blasthole logging sampling procedures daily geostatistical modelling active areas.

In November 2006 incremental expansion concentrator approved provide 10% increase throughput capacity. 2007 coarse conveying enhancements completed pulp filters installed SAG mill. pebble crusher intended increase production around 10% commissioned mid 2008 investment $42.m.

By 2008 feasibility expand milling capacity 38% completed. expansion started following approval January 2010. expansion require investment $1.3bn boost production 130,000t/d. project due completion 2011.

Environment

Antamina situated rainfall (approximately 1.5m annually). water-management system principal Quebrada Antamina drainage. receives discharge pit dewatering waste-rock dump runoff seepage low-grade stockpiles general runoff. appropriate method removing dissolved metals being researched implemented.

Antamina mine production

Antamina noted variability contents individual metals its ores. Thus 2004 mine into higher copper molybdenum grades zinc 2003. Metal production 2004 362,100t copper 190,100t zinc 3,600t molybdenum.

In calendar 2005 total 30.1Mt sulphide processed average grades 1.36% copper 1.15% zinc. involved movement 128Mt material total led production 361,500t copper 156,100t zinc 9.1Moz silver 6,720t molybdenum.

"In 2004 mine into higher copper molybdenum grades zinc 2003."

In 2006 production dropped around 8% result longer haulage distances originally planned. addition although total concentrator throughput remained 2005 its relative composition showed changes.

Zinc concentrate production fell around 15% due lower grade feed harder forced drop throughput copper-zinc ores although offset higher milling-rates copper-only ore.

total 2006 production 384,200t copper 156,100t zinc 7,730t molybdenum 30.25Mt ore.

Copper molybdenum grades copper recovery rates shown slight improvements year. Sales volumes metals increased benefiting commodity pricing 2006 improved recoveries – 8% higher previous – helping molybdenum sales nearly 10%.

However 2007 seen lower-grade decrease mine's copper output; price metal having rallied 25% year planned focus heavily production copper October 2008.

In 2009 approximately 11.3Mt zinc processed Antamina increase 10% previous year. Approximately 35Mt 370Kt concentrate copper produced year. Production zinc metal concentrate 154,000t increase 31% 2008.


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