In 2022, Zaldivar began the implementation of the chloride leaching project, which modified the way it operates its hydrometallurgical plant, moving from leaching oxide ores with acid and humidity of 3% to leaching mixed sulphide ores with sodium chloride (brine), sulphuric acid and humidity of around 8%. In addition, during this commissioning period, the percentage of fine ore input to the plant increased from 10% to 18%, being its limit of 15%, which generates problems of excessive adherence of material in essential equipments of the stacking system (ore transport system to leaching and stacker bridge) with their respective structures, equipment and components, which include: belts, scrapers, guide plates, idlers and rollers, Senet Tripper, buildings, tensioning systems, electrical panels, boards, sensors, wiring and hydraulic components, etc. This condition, together with the presence of acid vapours, is causing accelerated wear, corrosion, degradation of materials, difficulty in inspections, increased maintenance times, increased weight of structures and increased difficulty, time and frequency of cleaning (approximately every 3 days), for which the equipment must be shut down.
Identify solutions or technological developments to:
The following will not be considered in the evaluation process:
Cleaning times (hours) Availability of stacker bridge Frequency of cleaning Mean time to recovery/maintenance (MTTR) Stacking performance (ktpd – ktonne per day)
Area of interest: Leaching
Interested management: Copper Recovery Project