Outokumpu Technology for Las Cruces

As already published in IM’s review of mining developments in Spain, (IM, July 2006, pp.33-40) Outokumpu Technology has been chosen as lead technology supplier for the greenfield copper processing plant being built near Seville by Cobre Las Cruces, a subsidiary of Inmet Mining.  The value of Outokumpu Technology’s supply contract is approximately €45 million.

After successful basic engineering for the copper plant completed earlier, Outokumpu Technology’s scope of technology delivery covers process know-how and key equipment in grinding, thickening, leaching, and the Outokumpu VSFTM SX, tankfarm and EW plant. The company will also provide related supervisory services for all implementation phases from installation to commissioning.

Cobre Las Cruces, currently the only greenfield copper project in Europe, should begin production in early 2008. The new plant will produce 72,000 t/y of LME grade A copper cathodes.

“Our unique research facilities and experts have been fundamental in developing the process technology and customizing it for the client’s specific needs. As a result we are able to offer an economically and environmentally viable process for exploiting the Cobre Las Cruces deposit,” said Tapani Järvinen, President and CEO of Outokumpu Technology.

Outokumpu Technology’s modern process for hydrometallurgical copper production has several benefits: it offers high yields, low operating costs and flexible operation. The leaching technology has been especially developed for the Cobre Las Cruces ore and the EW section is equipped with Acid Mist Capturing System in order to meet the strict environmental demands.

Since launching VSFTM technology a decade ago, Outokumpu Technology has gained a significant market share of new copper SX applications. The process is already in use in Chile, USA, Laos and Finland, and at start-up phase in Mexico.