A NEW OUTLOOK FOR MINING
Cobre Las Cruces is currently engaged in open pit mining a 15 million tonne orebody of secondary sulphur copper (chalcocite), subsequently transforming it into sheets (called cathodes) of 99.999% pure copper.
According to the mining operation plan, excavation of the mineral resources will be completed during the last quarter of the year 2020, which will mean the end of the company’s activity.
The PMR Project
Situated underneath the secondary sulphide (copper) deposit, additional mineral resources of Polymetallic Primary Sulphides have been found, containing copper, zinc, lead and silver, which could enable the mining project to continue for at least a further 10 to 15 years.
CLC has therefore extended its production life forecasts to contemplate the start-up of the Poly Metallurgical Refinery (PMR) Project, the name of which refers to the technological capability to produce several metals at once, since zinc, lead and silver would be added to copper, the principal element mined. This would all be achieved in a single integrated refinery, of innovative and pioneering design and unique in the world, which will be capable of processing the resources mined by the company as well as raw material from third parties.
A Pilot Plant was started up in 2016-17 to analyse and investigate experimental data with the aim of obtaining the technical and process information required to be able to design the new industrial-scale polymetallurgical refinery.