Metso supplying Pirites Alentejanas

Metso Minerals will supply a crushing plant and other equipment to the new Aljustrel zinc mine in southern Portugal (IM, January 2007, pp42-51). Delivery will be completed by January 2008 and the value of the order is some €14 million. The order comprises a stationary crushing plant, consisting of a primary jaw crusher, a secondary cone crusher and two tertiary cone crushers with two screens. The order also includes a 2.2 km conveyor, a VPA pressure filter, six units of stirred media detritors and mill lining to the existing mills, as well as engineering, erection and commissioning services.

Metso’s Minerals’ has designed the modifications of the Aljustrel mine. During the first year of operation, about 1.4 Mt of zinc ore will be processed from the Moinho deposit, and in the subsequent years ore will be processed primarily from the Feitais deposit, at a rate of 1.8 Mt/y.      

Pirites Alentejanas is a subsidiary of based Eurozinc Mining, which recently merged with Lundin Mining.

Aljustrel joins Neves-Corvo as Lundin Mining’s second operation in Portugal. Lundin Mining has just announced that the new zinc processing facility at Neves-Corvo is now operating at the designed production and metallurgical performance levels, just five months from the commissioning date. Joâo Carrêlo, Executive Vice-President and COO for Iberian Operations, said “The zinc plant has consistently performed at the designed production rate with the recovery of zinc metal into concentrate exceeding 80%, at the targeted zinc concentrate grade of approximately 50%, since December 5, 2006. This is substantially ahead of the typical 12 to 18 month ramp-up time for similar base metal process plants around the world and is attributable to the hard work of the employees at the plant and the metallurgical consultants who assisted us on the project”.

Zinc production at Neves-Corvo came in slightly earlier than planned in July of 2006, and the mine is forecast to produce 25,000 t of zinc metal in concentrate for 2007. Carrêlo added: “We are at present completing the design and engineering requirements to increase annual zinc production to 50,000 t of zinc metal and will be selecting an engineering firm to review opportunities to expand production even further. The new reserves and resources of the zinc rich zones in Neves-Corvo will be published shortly, however, it is safe to say that the information to date supports considering a substantial increase to the zinc production at Neves-Corvo while maintaining and/or increasing the output of copper at the mine”.