COBRE LAS CRUCES HAS ONE OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST COPPER DEPOSITS
The mineral deposit is located on the easterly edge of the Iberian Pyrite Belt crossing southern Portugal virtually from its west coast, and extending through the Spanish provinces of Badajoz, Huelva and Seville. Production started in 2009 and is estimated to be completed by the end of 2020.
One of the main characteristics of the mine is its high grade (the percentage of copper per tonne of mineral) of between 5 and 6%. The average in the international copper mining sector does not go above 1%.
The mining operation is conducted using open pit methods. The final pit forecast for the current project will be 1,600 meters long and 900 m in diameter. Excavation of the mine has progressed towards the East in 6 consecutive phases.
A deposit of primary sulphides of copper, zinc, silver and lead have also been identified under the current deposit, which can extend the useful life of the mine between 10 and 15 years, as described in the section headed “The Future” in this dossier.