Lundin Mining enlists Ausenco for plant expansion optimisation study at Chapada

Less than a year after acquiring the Chapada copper-gold operation from Yamana Gold, Lundin Mining is eyeing up a plant expansion at the Brazil mine.

The company has enlisted Ausenco to carry out a feasibility study to evaluate the optimisation of the current copper-gold processing plant from 24 Mt/y to 26 Mt/y, Ausenco confirmed.

In addition, Ausenco is to undertake trade-off studies to determine optimum plant expansion scenarios for a future expansion.

Prior to Lundin Mining acquiring the mine in July 2019, previous owner Yamana had been studying plant expansion opportunities to increase the processing rate to a range from 28 Mt/y to 32 Mt/y, Lundin Mining says. The relocation of some plant infrastructure to allow the push-back of the pit wall for the development of the Sucupira orebody was also being studied.

The processing facility at Chapada comprises a single-line plant designed to treat sulphide ores at a current capacity of around 65,000 t/d, or 24 Mt/y, with the conventional crush, grind and flotation process producing a gold-rich copper concentrate.

Lundin Mining expects Chapada to produce 51,000-56,000 t of copper in concentrate in 2020, along with 85,000-90,000 oz of gold in concentrate.