New mills from Outotec

Outokumpu Technology (changing its name to Outotec on April 24) has been awarded several new grinding technology contracts worth €45 million by customers in Canada, Australia and Kazakhstan. Mirabela Nickel of Australia has awarded the contract for the SAG and ball mills for its Santa Rita nickel sulphide project in Bahia State, Brazil. The total value of the contract is $20.96 million. These two mills are the most substantial part of the long lead time equipment items for the Santa Rita project and this timely award of the contract to Outokumpu will significantly de-risk the implementation schedule for the project. Expected delivery is 85 weeks for the ball mill and 90 weeks for the SAG mill, which is consistent with a schedule for commissioning of the project in early 2009. Key long-lead time insurance spares including girth gears and motors for both mills have been included in the order.

The award of the mill purchase is the final step in a detailed evaluation of the physical ore characteristics at Santa Rita as part of the Bankable Feasibility Study, and a subsequent tender process and rigorous technical and commercial evaluation of all proposals by Mirabela with the assistance of GRD Minproc. The BFS is scheduled for final delivery in May 2007. For more details see International Mining Project News, April 15, 2007.

Adanac Molybdenum has awarded Outokumpu Technology Minerals Processing North America the fabrication of its ball mill, complete with motors, controls and essential spare parts. Work will commence immediately. Delivery is scheduled for the latter part of 2008. The mill, 6.7 m diameter and 8.2 m long with steel liners will be built with grate discharge using Outokumpu Technology’s patented Turbo Pulp Lifter (TPL) technology. It will be capable of processing 1,100 t/h of milled ore to the flotation section. It will be powered by two synchronous motors continuously drawing approximately 8 MW.

Ruby Creek is an open pit molybdenum mine project situated 24 km northeast of Atlin, BC, which would operate at 20,000 t/d of ore for more than 20 years. It is a C$450 million project. The Mining Lease encompasses the total mining infrastructure area with an extensive buffer zone surrounding the Measured and Indicated resource of 134,100 t of molybdenum and potential expansion of these resources. For more details see International Mining Project News, April 29, 2007.

Shalkiya Zinc of Kazakhstan has awarded the contract for grinding technology for the Shalkiya zinc-lead project in Kazakhstan. The company recommenced extraction activities at the Shalkiya mine in February 2004. It is located on the south-western foreland of the Karatau Ridge in the Kyzylorda Region, 15 km northeast of the regional centre and railway station in Zhanakorgan. Rail lines connect Shalkiya mine to the Kentau Plant, as well as to suppliers and customers in other regions of Kazakhstan, and neighbouring Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Russia and China.   In 2005, the company commissioned a Scoping Study to determine a strategy for further development of the Shalkiya mine. The study concluded that the most feasible strategy would be to increase mining capacity to 3 Mt/y of ore and construct a new on-site processing plant with the same capacity. Following the Scoping Study, the company commissioned Outokumpu to prepare a pre-engineering study (comparable in terms of accuracy to a pre-feasibility study) of the new processing plant. Outokumpu performed necessary metallurgical test-work in 2006. Construction is to commence by the end of 2007 with an aim to complete construction by 2010. Outokumpu expects the new plant to enable recovery of at least 75% of zinc from ore to a concentrate containing at least 52% of zinc, and recovery of 50% of lead to a concentrate containing at least 43% of lead. Following commencement of production at the plant, the company will be producing about 27,000 t of lead in lead concentrate and about 121,000 t of zinc in zinc concentrate per year.