Copper Mountain ups cleaner circuit efficiency, capacity with new flotation reactors

Copper Mountain Mining says it has successfully installed and commissioned the direct flotation reactors (DFRs) at its Copper Mountain mine, on schedule and on budget.

The installation represents the first stage of the mill expansion project at the operation in British Columbia, Canada, which will bring plant capacity to 45,000 t/d, from 40,000 t/d.

The installation of the Woodgrove DFRs increases the efficiency and the capacity of the current cleaner circuit, which is expected to increase the copper concentrate grade from about 25% to 28%, resulting in lower concentrate transportation, smelting and refining costs, Copper Mountain said.

Gil Clausen, Copper Mountain’s President and CEO, said: “The DFRs have been commissioned and turned over to operations. This is a testament to the great work of our operating and projects team. The DFRs are a low capital, high return project and we are already seeing improved concentrate grades.”

The next stage for the mill expansion project is the installation of the third ball mill, according to Clausen.

“We have the ability to rapidly restart this stage as we have maintained long-lead time expenditures and we also have the flexibility to accelerate the project as necessary,” he said. “With the installation of the third ball mill, we expect production to increase by 15-18% as a result of higher throughput and improved recoveries.”

The Copper Mountain mine, a conventional open pit, truck and shovel operation, is owned 75% by Copper Mountain and 25% by Mitsubishi Materials Corp.

It currently produces, on average, some 90 MIb (40,823 t) of copper equivalent annually, which is expected to increase to 120 MIb/y with the plant expansion.