Baikal Mining Company and Outotec have confirmed that they have signed an agreement that could see the technology company supply process equipment to the Udokan Mining and Metallurgical Plant in Kalar District, Russia.
Udokan is thought to host the third largest undeveloped copper deposit globally, with a JORC-compliant resource of 26.7 Mt of copper.
The document, a cooperation agreement according to Outotec, was signed by Baikal’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Valery Kazikaev, and Outotec President and CEO, Markku Teräsvasara at the St Petersburg Economic Forum. It was later followed by a press release from Outotec saying the two had signed a €250 million ($282 million) delivery contract for the copper operation.
This will see Outotec design and deliver a greenfield copper concentrator and hydrometallurgical plant for the Udokan project.
Around €35 million of the €250 million contract will be booked in Outotec’s June quarter order intake, with roughly two thirds of the order booked for Minerals Processing and a third for Metals, Energy & Water segment.
“Outotec’s delivery includes basic and detail engineering of the concentrator and copper hydrometallurgical plant, procurement, delivery of main process equipment as well as installation supervision, training and start-up services,” the company said.
Kazikaev said in Baikail’s release: “A unique flotation and hydrometallurgical Udokan ore processing flowsheet including bulk and sulphide flotation, leaching, solvent extraction (SX) and electrowinning (EW) was developed as a result of long-term research performed by BMC together with major Russian and international engineering companies.”
Outotec equipment, expected to be delivered in 2020, was selected for the implementation of this ore processing flowsheet, Baikail said.
Teräsvasara said: “We are happy to enter into cooperation with Baikal Mining Company on such a significant project. Our high-end technologies and competent service shall enable Baikal Mining Company to develop consistently and improve production efficiency.”
Baikal said flotation cells with the capacity varying from 20-300 m³ were expected to be used for flotation beneficiation of ores, while hydrometallurgical processing would employ reactors, high-compression thickeners, modular SX units and EW equipment. The latter is expected to reduce the construction period by 20%, Baikal noted.
A fully-automatic cathode withdrawal and loading crane and cathode stripping machine shall alos be applied for copper EW, according to the company.
Kazikaev said the Udokan Mining and Metallurgical Plant shall be the first plant in Russia to use these technologies, all of which are “notable for ore processing potential irrespective of the quality and oxidation of the ore and achieving high process performance”.
Stage one annual capacity of the plant is expected to be 12 Mt/y, with start-up in in 2022. There are also plans for a further exansion up to 48 Mt/y, according to Baikal.