One of the most important challenges at the concentrator plant of Minera Centinela is to improve ore processing and reduce operating costs. For this reason, the possibility of reducing copper loss in the Rougher flotation stage through the recovery of coarse sulphide particles has been considered, since conventional technologies and processes do not achieve good flotation of the copper contained in this fraction and it ends up as tailings.
Currently with the available technologies and processes (see Annex 1: Process flow sheet click here) between 60-70% of the copper contained in the coarse particle fraction (>75 microns approximately) is lost. This loss is expected to be reduced by integrating changes in the process or incorporating additional technologies.
Technological solutions are required to increase the recovery of copper contained in coarse sulphide particles. These solutions can be modifications to the existing process (e.g. addition of reagents, different residence times, flow changes, etc.) or an additional system/equipment to be installed in the underflow of the Rougher flotation.
For proposals involving additional systems/equipment, these must have a technology readiness level, TRL>=8, i.e. they must be at least at an implementation stage (system has been tested and qualified in operational environment). For proposals introducing a process change, these must have a technology readiness level, TRL>=6, i.e. they must be at least at a stage of validation of the components, sub-systems or systems in complex or relevant environments. For proposals involving chemicals, these must not cause adverse effects on people and downstream processes. Minimal operational interference for implementation and piloting. Meet health, safety and environmental standards of Minera Centinela.
Technologies already piloted in other mining companies are known.
Consultancy and process engineering studies.
Proposals considering new grinding stages.
Higher total copper recovery due to increased recovery in the coarse particle fraction.
Lower copper losses in tailings.