Caserones Mining Company’s concentrator plant currently processes more than 4,000 tons per hour of sulfide ore with an average grade of 0.45% of total copper to produce over 110,000 tons of fine copper per year. The ore that feeds this plant currently has considerable variability in its mineralogy, with a greater presence of chalcocite than chalcopyrite. This has meant an increase in the acidity of the ore (natural pH less than 5), which generates an increase in lime consumption when controlling the pH in the collective flotation (Rougher pH 9 and Cleaner pH 11). The historical rate of lime consumption is 1.2 kg/t of ore, however, currently they have reached occasional consumptions greater than 2 kg/t, which is affecting the level of ore treatment due to the current capacity of the lime slurry preparation plant.
Technological solutions are sought to reduce lime consumption in the flotation process by operating at a higher level of treatment of ores with a low natural pH. Solutions are expected in the areas of chemical reagents, operation at lower pH, process control and optimization, among others.
The ore feeding the concentrator plant has experienced an increase in acidity which has generated an increase in lime consumption when operating at the standard pH, which maximizes copper recovery and concentrate quality
New technologies have not been successfully tested.
The following will not be considered in the background evaluation process: