Capstone enters exploration take care of BHP copper for mission close to Pinto Valley

The US Geological Survey estimates that the mission hosts million 68.7 million tonnes of ore at a grade of 0.66% copper. Manufacturing totalled 895 lb. of copper, together with 75 million lb. of copper cathode.

The Pinto Valley open pit mine, concentrator and solvent extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) plant are situated about 125 km east of Phoenix. Manufacturing started in 1975, and since that point the mine has  produced greater than 4 billion lb. of copper, together with 500 million lb. of copper cathode. Capstone acquired the mission from BHP Copper in 2013.

“We consider Copper Cities is geologically a mirror picture of Pinto Valley with the identical host rocks and age,” mentioned Capstone senior VP of strategic mission and exploration Brad Mercer. ”Our plan presently underway requires a C$6.7 million two section drill program geared toward twinning historic drill holes and to pick a portion of those for metallurgical testing.”

Capstone is presently learning how Pinto Valley manufacturing may be elevated to extend cathode manufacturing to 300 million to 350 million lb. yearly from mineralized waste over the 20 years. Referred to as PV4, the examine contains the potential use of three technological improvements:

  • Jetti catalytic leach know-how, which may enhance cut-off grades to the mill and enhance leachable tonnage by upping mining charges, elevating mill grades and rising leaching. A column leach take a look at is being performed within the first half of this 12 months.
  • Coarse particle flotation know-how, which may enhance copper restoration by a minimum of 6% to a complete of about 90% whereas offering the flexibleness to spice up mill throughput.
  • Pyrite agglomeration, which might divert acid-generating minerals reminiscent of chalcopyrite from tailings to the dump leaching operation so extra copper may be recovered and among the acid crucial for manufacturing may very well be generated. The capital price of agglomeration could be about C$7 million ($5.6m) with a one-year payback.

Final June, Capstone accomplished its SV3 mill optimization mission, which included changing the shell of ball mill #3. The mission elevated throughput and copper restoration whereas lowering water consumption by upgrading the tailings thickeners.

The Pinto Valley mission has measured and indicated sources of 1.4 billion tonnes grading 0.29% copper (8.9 billion contained lb.) and 0.006% molybdenum (170 million contained kilos). The inferred useful resource is 170.6 million tonnes at 0.26% copper and 0.006% molybdenum.

Apart from Pinto Valley, Capstone operates the Cozamin copper-silver-mine in Mexico and is growing the Santo Domingo copper-iron-gold mission in Chile. The corporate met its 2021 manufacturing tips with 85,000 tonnes of copper from Pinto Valley and Cozamin.

This 12 months tips have been set at 82,000 tonnes to 90,000 tonnes of copper together with that offered by the Santo Domingo mission. Capstone additional mentioned it plans to spend $153 million on capital initiatives and $11.2 million on exploration in 2022.

(This text first appeared within the Canadian Mining Journal)

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Written by colin


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