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the world's 20 largest copper mines

the world's 20 largest copper mines

The world's 20 largest copper mines produce nearly 9 million metric tons of the precious metal a year, about 40% of the world's total copper mine capacity. Chile and Peru, alone, account for more than half of the copper mines on this list. The U.S. makes the cut, as well, with two mines among the top 20.

Copper is expensive to mine and refine.The high costs of financing a major mine are reflected in the fact that many of the mines with the most production capacity are either state-owned or owned by major mining corporations like BHP and Freeport-McMoRan.

The list below is compiled from theInternational Copper Study Group'sWorld Copper Factbook 2019. Beside each mine's name is the country that it is located in and its annual production capacity in metric kilotons. Ametric ton is equal to about 2,200 pounds. A metric kiloton (kt) is 1,000 metric tons.

The Escondida copper mine in Chile's Atacama desert is jointly owned by BHP (57.5%), Rio Tinto Corp. (30%), and Japan Escondida (12.5%). In 2012, the massive Escondida mine accounted for 5% of total global copper mine production. Gold and silver are extracted as by-products from the ore.

Chile's second-largest copper mine, Collahuasi, is owned by a consortium of Anglo American (44%), Glencore (44%), Mitsui (8.4%), and JX Holdings (3.6%). Collahuasimine produces copper concentrate and cathodes as well asmolybdenum concentrate.

The Morenci mine in Arizona is the largest copper mine in North America. Operated by Freeport-McMoRan, the mine is jointly owned by the company (72%) and affiliates of the Sumitomo Corporation (28%). Morenci operations began in 1872, underground mining began in 1881, and open-pit mining began in 1937.

Cerro Verde copper mine, located 20 miles southwest of Arequipa in Peru, has been operational in its current form since 1976. Freeport-McMoRan, which holds a 54% interest, is the mine's operator. Other stakeholders include SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal (21%), Compaia de Minas Buenaventura (19.58%), and public shareholders through the Lima Stock Exchange (5.86%).

The Antamina mine is located 170 miles north of Lima. Silver and zinc are also separated from the ore produced at Antamina. The mine is jointly owned by BHP (33.75%), Glencore (33.75%), Teck (22.5%), and Mitsubishi Corp. (10%).

The world's largest underground mine, El Teniente, is located in the Andes of central Chile. Owned and operated byChilean state copper minerCodelco, El Teniente has been mined since the 19th century.

Chile's state-owned Codelco owns and operates the Codelco Norte (or Chuquicamata)copper mine in northern Chile. One of the world's largest open-pit mines, Chuquicamata has been in operation since 1910, producing refined copper and molybdenum.

The largest copper mine in Africa, Kansanshi is owned and operated by Kansanshi Mining PLC, which is 80%owned by a First Quantum subsidiary. The remaining 20% is owned by a subsidiary of ZCCM. The mine is located approximately 6miles north of the town of Solwezi and 112milesto the northwest of the Copperbelt town of Chingola.

The Grasberg mine, located in the highlands of Indonesia's Papua province, boasts the world's largest gold reserve and second-largest copper reserve. The mine is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia Co., and the mine is a joint venture between regional and national government authorities in Indonesia (51.2%) and Freeport-McMoRan (48.8%).

Kamoto is an underground mine that was first opened by the state-owned company Gcamines in 1969. The mine was restarted under Katanga Mining LTD control in 2007. While Katanga owns the majority of the operation (75%), 86.33% of Katanga itself is owned by Glencore. The remaining 25% of the Kamoto mine is still owned by Gcamines.

TheBingham Canyon Mine, more commonly known asKennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mine southwest ofSalt Lake City. Kennecott is the sole owner and operator of this mine. The mine was started back in 1903. Operations continue through all hours of day and night, 365 days a year, but tourists can visit the mine to learn more and see the canyon in person.

Construction of the Sentinel copper mine began in 2012, and by 2016, commercial production was underway. The mine is 100% owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. The Candian company entered into Zambian mining in 2010, with the purchase of Kiwara PLC.

Olympic Dam, which is 100%owned by BHP,is a copper, gold, silver, and uranium mine. The dam operates both on the surface and underground, including more than 275 miles of underground roads and tunnels.

largest mines in the world

largest mines in the world

Here is my list of the Top 15 largest and biggest mines in the world: They are economically big and physically large,taking a lot of time and power to excavate. But in their core theres what big mining companies are looking for: the precious ore. Join us as we explore the world of the largest man made canyons yet.

After suffering a major landslide, this open-pit copper mine located in the United States, has recovered thanks to the help of innovative technology like ball mills. Owned by Rio Tinto Group, theKennecott copper mine, as the deposit is also known, is locatedsouthwest ofSalt Lake City, inUtah, andcovers 1,900 acres.

Located in Siberia, Russia, the Mirny mineis a formeropen pitdiamonddeposit, now inactive.The mine is 1,722ft deep and has a diameter of 3,900ft, beingthe second largest excavated hole in the world.The airspace above the mine had to be closed because helicopters were sucked in by the air flow.

This is the largestgold mineand the third largestcopper mineon the planet. Grasber mine is located in the province ofPapua,inIndonesia,nearPuncak Jaya,the highest mountain in the area. The pit ore had 19,500 employees not all operation the Jaw Crusher, obviously.

Chuquicamata,locally known asChuqui, isthe biggestopen pitcopperminein the world by excavated volume. The pit islocated in the north ofChile. The mine is owned and operated byCodelco, the Chilean state enterprise.

This combinedopen pitandundergroundmining project is located inKhanbogd(Mongolia),within the Gobi Desert. The site was discovered in 2001 and joins institutions likeTurquoise Hill Resources,Rio Tintoand theGovernment of Mongolia. The mine began producing copper this year.Oyu Tolgoi is the largest financial mining projectin Mongolias history.

The Goldstrike mine isanactive gold mine located in NortheasternNevada. It has 1,379 employees and is managed by the giant of the mining industry Barrick Goldstrike Mines.This deposit is divided into three different mines: the largeopen-pit mineBetze-Post and the twounderground minesMeikle and Rodeo. The mine uses some very largegold mining equipmentwhich small miners cant operate.

Located in Northern Pery, the Yanacochamine isconsidered the second largest gold mine in the world. The open pit has 251-square kilometer. The mine isrun by theNewmont Mining Corporation, the worlds second largest gold mining company. Newmont is the major shareholder together with Buenaventura, a Peruvian company.

TheKiruna mine, located in Lapland,is the largest and most modern undergroundiron oremine in the world, managed bythe Swedish mining companyLuossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB. The Kiruna mine, with its underground jaw crusher, has an ore body 2.5miles long, 260ft to 390ft thick and reaching a depth of up to 1.2miles.

TheCarajs mineis the largestiron oremineon the planet. The open-pit mine is located in the state ofPara,in the Carajs Mountains, in the region ofNorthernBrazil. Besidesiron, the mine also producesgold,manganese,copperandnickel.The mine is owned by theCompanhia Vale do Rio Doce and is largely powered by hydroelectric power from theTucurua Dam.

Orapa means the resting place of lions and is the name of theworlds largestdiamondmine, located inBotswana,about 150miles west of the city ofFrancistown. The pit is owned byDebswana, apartnershipbetween theDe Beerscompany and the local government.

Also known asKalgoorlie-Bouldergold mine, the pit is located in theGoldfields-Esperanceregion ofWestern Australia. The town around the mine was founded in 1893 during the Yilgarn-Goldfields gold rush. The Kalgoorlie mine is also called the super pit.

TheDiavik minehas been producing diamonds for 10 years. Located in theNorthwest Territories ofCanada, it has become an important part of the regional economy.The open-pit mine is owned by theDominion Diamond Corporationand Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., a subsidiary ofRio Tinto Group.

TheUdachnaya mine the name means lucky pipe is one of the largestdiamondmines inRussiaand in the world.The mine is located in theSakha Republic andhas estimated reserves of 225.8 millioncaratsofdiamonds, withan annual production capacity of 10.4 million carats.

Highland Valley Copper mine is one of the worlds largestopen-pit deposits,owned byTeck Resources. The deposit, located in south central British Columbia (Canada),is rich in copper and molybdenum mineral concentrates, also including trace amounts of silver and gold.

mount isa copper mine, queensland, australia

mount isa copper mine, queensland, australia

Its copper operations include two underground copper mines, Enterprise and X41, with ore mining capacity of 6.2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), a concentrator with 7Mtpa capacity, a copper smelter, and support services.

Since acquiring the operations, Xstrata Copper undertook steps to improve performance and expanded its smelter capacity at Mt Isa to 300,000tpa. Xstrata was acquired by Glencore in 2013 and the Mount Isa became part of the latters operations.

Mount Isa mine offers job opportunities for more than 3,200 individuals and contractors. In 2018, the company started the Black Rock Cave ore body development to improve on the copper resource at the Mount Isa operations.

Brecciated siliceous and dolomitic rock masses within the Urquhart Shale contain several orebodies that comprise complex veins and irregular segregations with chalcopyrite, pyrite and pyrrhotite and grading 3% to 4% copper.

Prospector John Campbell Miles discovered silver-lead ore at Mount Isa in 1923. Mining began the following year and Mount Isa Mines was formed. During Mount Isa Mines early years, the company focused on zinc-lead-silver production with only a brief period of copper production during the Second World War. Parallel production of zinc-lead-silver and copper did not begin until 1953.

The years from 1969 to 1974 saw more expansion at Mount Isa Mines. Development of copper orebodies and improvements at the companys Townsville refinery boosted copper production dramatically. The next surge of development came in the late 1990s when close to A$1bn was invested in various projects, including two new mines and an expansion of the copper smelter and the Townsville refinery. Xstrata acquired Mount Isa Mines in June 2003 through its MIM Holdings Limited acquisition.

During the late 1980s, MIM started to develop the orebodies located between levels 21 and 36. A ramp was driven down from the U62 loading station and an ABB-Kiruna electric truck hoisting system fitted. Production started in 1993. In 1996, MIM launched the A$370m Enterprise Mine project designed to raise deep copper output to 3.5Mtpa.

The 713m-deep internal M62 shaft opened in 2000, with refrigeration and paste backfill plants completed in 2001. Meanwhile, the 1100 operation became the X41 Mine. In June 2004, Xstrata approved the development of the Northern 3,500 orebody to maintain rated capacity by supplying 5.3Mt ore grading 4.5% Cu over 11 years, starting in late 2006. This should enable the Enterprise mine to achieve its rated concentrator throughput of 3.5Mtpa.

The mining operations at Mount Isa Mines are expected to continue at least until 2023. Sub-level caving is used at the Black Rock orebody for better economics. The orebody will be brought into production by the end of 2020. PYBAR Mining Services was awarded a contract to develop Black Rock.

The copper concentrator was rebuilt in 1973, with rod and ball milling and three-stage flotation, to supply the roaster and conventional blister copper smelter on site. In 1981, Mount Isa commenced anode casting as well. In 1988-1989, two 6.4MW AG/SAG grinding mills replaced the rod and ball mills at a cost of A$35m.

During 2004, Xstrata decided to add 40,000tpa of copper output by slag treatment and related developments, and also approved a 2,500tpa copper-leaching plant to treat smelter electrostatic-precipitator dust.

home | anglogold ashanti

home | anglogold ashanti

At AngloGold Ashanti, our goal is to develop people and encourage a workplace that allows every person to contribute, learn and flourish. The success of our business is tied to the well-being of our employees.

While AngloGold Ashanti is no longer operating mines in South Africa, the Company has carefully considered how its legacy can endure, making a positive contribution to resilient communities of former host and labour sending areas.

AngloGold Ashanti, with its head office in South Africa, is an independent, global gold mining company with a diverse, high-quality portfolio of operations, projects and exploration activities across nine countries on four continents. While gold is our principal product, we also produce silver (Argentina) and sulphuric acid (Brazil) as byproducts. In Colombia, feasibility studies are currently underway at two of our projects, one of which will produce both gold and copper.

Located in the province of Santa Cruz, Cerro Vanguardia operates multiple small open pits with high stripping ratios and multiple narrow-vein underground mines that produce gold with silver as a by-product.

The Gramalote project, a joint venture between AngloGold Ashanti (50%) and B2Gold (50%), is located near the towns of Providencia and San Jose del Nus within the municipality of San Roque, in the northwest of the Department of Antioquia.

The La Colosa project is located approximately 150km west of Bogota Colombia in Tolima Department. The project is 100% owned and managed by AngloGold Ashanti and has been voluntarily suspended, since 2017, due to force majeure recognised by the national mining authority.

The Quebradona project is situated in the Middle Cuca region of Colombia, in the Department of Antioquia, 60km southwest of Medelln within the Municipality of Jeric. The project is 100% owned and managed by AngloGold Ashanti.

energy efficiency energy intensity in copper and gold mining
 - mineral processing

energy efficiency energy intensity in copper and gold mining - mineral processing

Summary: Mines are faced with numerous challenges, such as falling raw material prices, declining metal grades in the ores and higher energy prices. Especially because ore processing is particularly energy-intensive, the industry is again focusing on the saving of energy. This report shows what are the key energy saving considerations in the copper and gold mining sectors.

In recent years, many mining companies have been able to reduce their specific energy requirements in the ore processing of base metals, gold, silver and platinum group metals, thereby improving their competitiveness. The reasons are complex and involve, for example, the closure of unprofitable mines, technological improvements such as modern grinding processes or improved energy management. But there are also opposing tendencies. For example, the electricity demand for Chiles copper production is expected to increase by 53.5% between 2015 and 2026, although the planned increase in copper production over that period is only 7.5%. An analysis of the reasons for this reveals that the contributing factors are not only the type of ore dressing process, but also the declining ore head grades and the supply of water to the mines.

After iron ore, the leading places in the global sales ranking for mineral raw materials are occupied by copper and gold. Despite an interim sales crisis, the demand for copper and gold is unbroken. Fig.1 shows the development of copper mine production over the last 10 years. Production has risen at average annual growth rates (CAGR) of 3.0% to 20.2milliont (Mt). The annual growth fluctuations were between 8.9% and -0.2%. In the case of gold production, the situation is similar (Fig.2). The CAGR of gold production was 3.6% in the last 10years. In 2016, 3260tonnes of gold were produced, after 2350tonnes in 2007 and a relatively small slump in gold production during the financial crisis of 2008.

In principle, it is clear that higher productions can only be realized with a greater energy expenditure. This technical paper will particularly consider the electrical energy input in more detail. The electrical energy input and the fuel requirements are roughly the same in the gold and copper production sectors. Of particular interest is the specific energy input per ton of recovered copper or gold. The relevant data are provided primarily by the mining companies. To a lesser extent, data are available from individual mining associations. Further data sources are energy audits and the project descriptions of consulting companies for mine expansions and new copper and gold mining projects. The situation is fundamentally similar in the case of other mineral raw materials.

At present, copper production is stagnating in Chile (Fig.3). In 2013, a peak mining output of 5,776Mt was reached, while in 2016 the production figure was 5.553Mt, corresponding to a share of 27.5% in the worldwide mining output of 20.2Mt. Starting from 2015, the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco) is planning to increase the annual mining output by 0.5% in order to achieve about 6.2Mt by 2026. In 2015, Cochilco published a study on the future electricity demand of the Chilean copper mining industry. This study covers all current and future projects. Fig.4 shows how the future electricity demand is forecast to change from 22.1terawatt hours (TWh) in 2015 to 34.1TWh. The various consumers are also shown.

The largest consumer is the conventional ore dressing process with a concentrator as used for sulfidic ores, consisting of crushing, grinding and subsequent flotation. This is followed by processes for oxidic copper ores with heap leaching, solvent extraction and electrowinning (LS-SX-EW). The share of ore production by concentrator processes will increase from 72% in 2015 to 89% in 2026. Correspondingly, the electricity demand for the concentrator processes will increase by 69% from 13.2TWh to 22.3TWh in 2026 while that of the LS-SX-EW processes will decrease by 40% from 4.5TWh to 2.7TWh. Also interesting is the increase of almost 460% for seawater desalination/pumping. The increases in mining (+38%), refining (+30%) and services (+26%) within the framework of the planned additional mining output are somewhat more moderate, but clearly exceed the planned production growth.

For many years the copper ore grades have been declining as exploitation of the higher-grade deposits progresses. On a worldwide scale, the mined ores contain an average of less than 1.0%Cu (Fig.5). In Chile, the copper grade of the ores is significantly lower than even that. In 2015, the average copper grade in the ores was only 0.65%. For the year 2026, it is expected that the ores in Chile will have copper grades of less than 0.5%. This will naturally increase the amount of run-of-mine ore that has to be processed. In international comparison, the Chilean copper ore mining industry is steadily deteriorating. While about 35% of the worldwide copper mine output had higher copper grades than the product of Chilean mines in 2010, this figure will rise to 43% in 2020.

Fig.6 shows the development of the electricity demand for concentrator and LS-SX-EW processes. While in the case of concentrator processes the specific electricity demand per t of material has increased by 4% from 79.3MJ/t to 82.5MJ/t, the power demand for the LS-SX-EW processes has decreased by almost 23% from 43.2 MJ/t to 33.3 MJ/t. The figure also shows that the power demand per t of material is significantly lower in the case of LS-SX-EW processes. However, in the concentrator processes this disadvantage is compensated by higher yields. As depicted in Fig.7, the specific electricity demand per ton of produced copper is currently about 12.0GJ/t of copper (Cu) in both the concentrator and the LS-SX-EW processes. However, in the case of plants equipped with concentrators, this value has increased at a faster overall rate over the past 10 years.

The mineralogical properties of the ores are increasingly influencing the required processing methods. In the production of copper, sulfidic ores are enriched into concentrates by grinding and flotation, followed by pyrometallurgical processes for the production of pure copper. Oxidic ores are treated with sulfuric acid in a heap leaching process after the grinding stage and are subsequently processed into cathode copper by SX/EW methods. On a worldwide scale, concentrate production dominates with a market share of about 85%. In the production of gold, the cyanide leaching or CIL (carbon-in-leach) processes have gained a market share of almost 90%. For the worldwide energy demand of these processes only estimated figures are currently available.

Fig.8 presents a simplified overview of the energy input for the different processes and process stages in the production of copper based on a copper ore grade of 0.5%. The energy inputs are expressed in kJ/t of material and kJ/lb (pound of copper). The so-called run-of-mine (ROM) leaching followed by a SX/EW process has the lowest energy demand, while the process with SAG/ball mills and subsequent flotation and pyrometallurgy has the highest energy demand. For each respective process, various possibilities for reducing the energy input are shown. Fig.9 additionally shows how the energy demand for the different processes varies depending on the copper grade of the ore. Correspondingly, the respective theoretical energy inputs range from less than 10MJ/lbCu up to more than 80MJ/lbCu.

The greatest energy input in copper and gold production is required for the comminution and grinding processes. The energy audit of mainly Australian copper and gold mines shows that 36% of the overall energy consumption is attributable to comminution [1]. Previous studies had shown values between 18% and 50%. Fig.10 shows that the specific comminution energy is a function of the copper grade of the ore, but also a function of the throughput of the mine and thus of the technology employed. Therefore, on the one hand, the declining copper grades require higher specific energies of more than 4MWh/tCu, while on the other hand, so-called scale effects occur in the case of larger mines and partially compensate for poorer copper grades, making specific comminution energies of less than 1MWh/tCu possible.

The classical grinding process employing SAG and ball mills (Fig.11) is progressively losing ground [2,3] against high-pressure grinding rolls (HPGR), which are increasingly being used for the grinding of both copper and gold ore. The first noteworthy HPGR application was at the Cyprus Sierrita copper mine in the USA in 1995[4], even though the extremely abrasive ore prevented the achievement of economic grinding roll service lives. This changed with the Cerro Verde project, a copper-molybdenum mine in Peru in 2006 and later in 2011, when the SAG mills were completely replaced by 4HPGRs, each with a capacity of 2100t/h[5]. In 2014, the largest HPGR that has been implemented so far was installed in Freeport-McMoRans Morenci copper mine in Arizona/USA, achieving throughputs of up to 5400t/h (Fig.12). Pilot studies had demonstrated that the HPGR can achieve energy savings of 13.5% compared to grinding processes employing SAG mills. By 2014, more than 35HPGR had already been put into operation in the copper grinding industry.

A further important area for power consumption reductions is the after-grinding of products from the flotation stage [3, 6, 7]. Here, the fineness requirements are in the broad range of 2 to 75m, the feed particle sizes are smaller than 200m and the throughput rates are usually below 100 t/h, so that due to their high energy requirements ball mills do not represent a reasonable solution in this range of fineness. With the IsaMill horizontal stirred media mill (Fig.13), it is possible to achieve energy savings of 20-30% compared to conventional ball mills[10] in various applications. High energy savings are also achieved with vertical flow stirred media mills (Fig.14). Due to their relatively low energy requirements, both these mill types are also being increasingly used for secondary and tertiary grinding as replacements for ball mills [8, 9, 10].

The decreasing mineral grades in the ores have also led to increased throughput rates in the flotation stage (Fig.15). In order to accommodate higher flotation volumes, plant manufacturers have undertaken a scale-up of the flotation cells. So-called supercells are now available with volumes of up to 600m3[11]. It is of particular interest in this context that the larger cells provide an improved hydrodynamic performance compared to small cells using conventional technology, a factor which reduces energy costs by up to 40%. However, the amount of savings thus achieved for the entire processing line must be put into perspective, since the flotation stage usually accounts for less than 10% of the energy costs for the grinding stage.

Two other areas that are also among the notable energy consumers are the mechanical handling of the material and the pump conveyance of liquids and slurries. Mechanical conveyor systems (Fig.16) are indispensable for feeding the processing equipment. In addition, there are various mechanical conveyors in the mine itself. The consumed electrical energy amounts to less than 5% of that of the total ore processing line. The energy consumption situation for pumping is somewhat different. In particular, when seawater desalination plants and long-distance water supply are included, the electrical energy consumption can rise to over 15% of the total. High energy losses occur, in particular, when slurry pumps suffer premature wear. This problem can be reduced by special designs, such as wear rings in the pump.

Australian scientists have evaluated the energy consumption of a total of 68 copper and gold mines covering all such mines in Australia as well as 24% of the worlds copper mines and 15% of the worlds gold mines[1]. While complete data for SAG and ball mills were available, only partial data were obtained for crushers and post-grinding, so that some results were estimated. Fig.17 presents the results for the specific comminution energy for the grinding of copper ore. The average consumption is 1.223MWh/t Cu. On the abscissa, the cumulative copper production quantity of the analyzed mines is shown. A corresponding graph also exists for the analyzed gold mines (Fig.18). This represents mines with a production of 11million ounces(Moz). The average specific comminution energy is 353kWh/oz.

Fig.19 depicts the specific energy consumption of the companies Teck Resources and Barrick Gold in the copper ore processing sector. The specific data are shown in GJ/tCu and thus provide a measure of the energy intensity of the copper production process. In the case of Teck Resources, the data represent 4 mines in Canada, Chile and Peru with a total production volume of 324kt in 2016. Barrick Gold has only the Lumwana copper mine in Zambia with a most recent production volume of 123kt. With both companies there is a trend towards lower energy intensities over the past three years. The energy intensity of 24.5GJ/tCu at the Lumwana mine is significantly lower than Tecks average value of 43.7GJ/tCu in 2016.

Fig.20 shows the energy intensity for the company Gold Fields. Gold Fields operates 3gold mines in South Africa, Australia and Ghana as well as a copper/gold mine in Peru. In 2016, the company produced 2,15Moz of gold (calculated as gold equivalent), which was almost equal to the previous years figure of 2.16Moz. For the 2016 gold production quantity an energy input of 0.063GJ/t of ore material was necessary, after the figure of 0.072GJ/t in 2014. The energy intensity for gold production was 5.27GJ/oz in 2016 after 4.56GJ/oz in 2014. This means that the energy intensity increased over the two years with a CAGR of 7.5%. Such an increase can only be explained by a sharp decline in the grade of gold in the ore.

Fig.21 shows the energy intensity of the company Barrick Gold for the gold production of selected mines. In total, Barrick Gold owns 9gold mines in Argentina (Veladero), Canada, the Dominican Republic, Peru and the USA (Cortez, Goldstrike, Turquoise Ridge and Golden Sunlight). In 2016, the company produced a total of 5.52Moz of gold, making Barrick the no. 1 worldwide, ahead of Newmont Mining and AngloGold Ashanti. The average energy intensity of the 9 goldmines decreased from 5.33GJ/oz in 2014 to 5.11GK/oz in 2016. However, the 3depicted mines have significantly different energy intensity levels and graph bar sequences. Goldstrike is among the Barrick Gold mines with the highest energy intensity, although its energy demand has been reduced. Turquoise Ridge has the lowest energy demand with minor fluctuations in recent years. Veladoros energy demand showed an upward trend.

Lower metal grades in the ores force mine operators to look for solutions in order to further reduce the energy demand of their processing lines. If no efforts were made, the energy demand would rise significantly. Mining companies are increasingly carrying out energy audits in order to identify the largest energy consumers and to see how plant performance can be improved. The main focus is on the grinding process, as it is the largest energy consumer. For new projects, more energy-efficient grinding processes should be considered, employing HPGR instead of SAG mills and vertical and horizontal stirred media mills instead of ball mills. An important role in energy demand reduction is played by the optimization of grinding circuits[13].

In the case of performance enhancements and Brownfield projects, the focus is on adding machines to existing circuits or replacing machines with higher-performance equipment. HPGR mills and stirred media mills also play an important role here as a simple means of achieving higher throughputs with an additional grinding circuit or other machine combinations. This also concerns the post-grinding after flotation and the replacement of existing flotation cells with new, higher-performance and larger cells in order to achieve longer residence times and better yields. In the recent past, ore selection by sensor-based processes has also been intensively discussed. In any case, mine operators today have numerous options for energy saving while simultaneously reducing cash costs.

The top ore layer of an open pit copper mine is easily processed using heap leach in tandem with solvent extraction and electrowinning to produce copper cathodes. The copper mineral most predominate...

ABB was recently contacted to supply the drive system for a new semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill at Neves Corvo/Portugal. The contract was awarded in June 2011. Neves Corvo is an underground mine,...

newmont corporation - about us - about mining - lifecycle of a mine

newmont corporation - about us - about mining - lifecycle of a mine

From the discovery of buried minerals to reclaiming land after closure of a mine, our operations can sometimes span 30 years or even longer. This means we may conduct business in or near a community for decades, and even generations. Throughout that time, Newmont's core values safety, integrity, sustainability, responsibility and inclusion give guidance to the actions of our employees and partners to ensure that we create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.

Before pursuing any new opportunity, we rigorously evaluate the geologic, biological, social, political, financial, infrastructure and cultural landscape in order to determine the viability and value of a project.

Our Global Supply Chain group plays a critical strategic and governance role throughout the life of a mine, ensuring that our network of local and global partners meet strict environmental, social, safety and ethical criteria to supply their goods and services in a manner that aligns with our vision and values.

We also proactively maintain our property, facilities and equipment at each stage of the lifecycle to ensure that our operations are safe, efficient and responsible. Properly managing and maintaining these mobile and fixed assets ensures that our business runs effectively and according to plan.

With odds of only one in 3,000 discoveries leading to mine development, and only 10 percent of the worlds gold deposits containing enough gold to mine, exploration can be labor-intensive, time consuming and expensive. Exploration can last anywhere from a couple of years to sometimes even decades. It also marks the first contact between Newmont and the community, and these interactions are critical to shaping positive future relationships.

The first step is prospecting. For explorers working in the field, accessing land is essential to discovering deposits. Explorers must recognize formal and informal ownership to obtain necessary permissions to enter onto prospective land. Once land access is secured, community relationships must be maintained through continuous communication during periods of inactivity and across multiple work teams, contractors and consultants.

Drilling helps us evaluate the type and grade of minerals in the ground. As crews drill, they mark the exact location and depth of each sample taken. Samples are then sent to an accredited lab, which identifies the concentration of elements, including gold, within them.

Assay information from the lab is combined with geologic, geochemical and geophysical data in a process known as geologic modeling of the ore body. Using information obtained from sampling, testing, mapping and observation, geologists use complex computer programs to create 3D models of what the underground mineral occurrence might look like. Geologic models are provided to resource model experts who statistically estimate the distribution of mainly gold and copper throughout the ore body shape.

Following several years of intensified drilling, the models are ultimately used by mine engineers to determine mining methods, optimum mine size and schedule, and equipment requirements that will maximize the safety and efficiency of production all of which takes place in the next stage of the mine lifecycle: development and design.

Newmont crews work to determine whether the prospective site can be safely operated in an environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible manner. Expanded work activities take place during the design and development stage, with more people on the ground conducting studies on the common, technical and business elements required to move forward into construction. Common elements are defined by activities that require the participation and input of multiple departments and cross-functional coordination, including (but not limited to) project execution planning, capital cost estimation, organizational modeling and risk assessments.

Technical elements, such as asset management, geology and resource modeling, project engineering and metallurgical process planning, are evaluated in order to determine the mining and process requirements of a prospective site all of which is done with full consideration of the international, national, regional and local laws and regulations, as well as Newmonts own standards and voluntary commitments. A full review of business elements such as human resources, insurance, legal, security, and health and safety is also included in the work activity required to evaluate a projects feasibility.

Typical project development can take up to 10 years from when the exploration group discovers the gold deposit, with the time expanding depending on economic conditions, legal requirements, technical difficulty and other factors.

Newmont crews work to determine whether the prospective site can be safely operated in an environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible manner. Expanded work activities take place during the design and development stage, with more people on the ground conducting studies on the common, technical and business elements required to move forward into construction. Common elements are defined by activities that require the participation and input of multiple departments and cross-functional coordination, including (but not limited to) project execution planning, capital cost estimation, organizational modeling and risk assessments.

Technical elements, such as asset management, geology and resource modeling, project engineering and metallurgical process planning, are evaluated in order to determine the mining and process requirements of a prospective site all of which is done with full consideration of the international, national, regional and local laws and regulations, as well as Newmonts own standards and voluntary commitments. A full review of business elements such as human resources, insurance, legal, security, and health and safety is also included in the work activity required to evaluate a projects feasibility.

Typical project development can take up to 10 years from when the exploration group discovers the gold deposit, with the time expanding depending on economic conditions, legal requirements, technical difficulty and other factors.

While we are busy designing the mine, we must simultaneously partner with local stakeholders to design a sustainable path forward that takes into account a vision for the mine site after mining operations close. This means listening to their input and prioritizing development objectives together while managing our current impacts at the same time.

Newmont engages during this phase in various ways, which can include public consultation activities driven by the social and environmental impact analysis process (social and environmental impact assessments). The decision to progress to mine construction does not sit solely with Newmont; the decision involves the local communities and government. Without their consent, the project cannot proceed. We value the feedback that stakeholders provide, and seek to design our projects in ways that create long-term mutual value.

In order for Newmont to create mutual value for our stakeholders, we must invest wisely, which is why we have a robust system in place to identify if, how and when we move opportunities through our project pipeline. Our Investment Council is chartered to make investment decisions across the organization based on independent Investment Value Assurance reviews at each stage in the pipeline:

Examines a range of options for the technical and economic viability of a mineral project, factoring in mine designs, production schedules, gold recoveries, plant design, labor and other operational expenses. Once the operational, financial, social and regulatory factors are examined and the risks and uncertainties are understood and accounted for and mitigation plans are in place, a single business plan is selected to move forward into the next stage.

An integrated set of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) processes lead to actual mine construction. First, and engineering contractor is hired to complete a thorough research-based engineering design. The next phase involves the procurement of all necessary mining equipment and materials including, preparing a request for proposals, attracting qualified contractors to bid for the project, and ensuring that the required materials and equipment are delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

Each site must continue to engage in collaborative and honest stakeholder engagement to ensure the expectations of all parties are aligned. With the economic certainty of an approved project, Newmont can start to implement training programs and partnerships with development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government agencies to kick-start economic empowerment in the community.

Once we have secured the necessary permits, capital investments and local stakeholder support, the construction phase can begin. Crucial to building the mine is ensuring that the best skilled personnel are available, materials are judiciously used, and time and other resources are optimally applied.

The first step is prospecting. For explorers working in the field, accessing land is essential to discovering deposits. Explorers must recognize formal and informal ownership to obtain necessary permissions to enter onto prospective land. Once land access is secured, community relationships must be maintained through continuous communication during periods of inactivity and across multiple work teams, contractors and consultants.

When operating a mine, we use stringent controls to prevent or manage any environmental impacts. Newmont environmental management systems are designed to ensure all environmental considerations including management, monitoring, maintenance, training and action plans are incorporated within an overall framework as an integral part of mining operations.

During the production phase, Newmont, governments, civil society and local stakeholders continue to work together to implement community development programs to catalyze long- term, sustainable socio-economic growth so that communities can thrive long after mining operations cease. We strive to reclaim land as we progress called concurrent reclamation and to incorporate stakeholder input in our closure plan.

The specialized machinery and heavy equipment that we use for production must be managed with discipline. These assets are maintained on a regular basis to ensure the safety, productivity and longevity of our operations.

Haul trucks transport the ore from open pits or underground to processing operations. Some ore may be stockpiled for later processing. Rock that is not economical to process is stored in overburden rock storage areas.

Newmont uses two ore processing techniques to extract gold: mill processing and heap leaching. The grade and type of ore determine the processing method used. Additionally, the geochemical makeup of the ore, including its hardness, sulfur content, carbon content and other minerals found within it, impacts the cost and methods used to extract gold.

Newmont is committed to ensuring long-term environmental stability and leaving a positive legacy for local communities. In part, this commitment means developing an integrated closure approach: taking into account community interests while managing technical environmental challenges and reclaiming mine-disturbed lands in a manner suitable for long-term beneficial use after our mines close.

Planning for closure begins during the earliest stages of project evaluation, well before construction starts at a new site. Reclamation activities commence during the production stage and continue post-operations until closure objectives can be achieved. Our goal is to minimize, to the extent possible, the disturbance of land in all stages of the mine lifecycle beginning with our exploration activities. Our goal is to reclaim all areas disturbed concurrently, when land is no longer needed for future mining operations, and to leverage facilities (e.g., roads, housing, etc.) for their long-term benefit to communities around the mine site.

Our Closure and Reclamation Technical Teams use a systematic approach to complete annual updates to closure and reclamation planning, cost estimates and concurrent reclamation opportunities. This approach provides a globally consistent reclamation and closure process at every stage of the mine lifecycle.

In developing and implementing reclamation plans, Newmont seeks to apply the latest thinking, technologies and approaches to effectively manage mining impacts and deliver reclamation and closure performance. All operations look to balance environmental solutions with post-mining beneficial land use.

To restore the landscape for future uses such as ranching, recreation or wildlife habitat protection, we progressively rehabilitate areas of disturbed land in the mining area, which offers a number of advantages:

During this stage, engagement activities with the local communities continue, and emphasize monitoring, land use and information about on-site activities. Communities are obviously still interested in site activities and often participate in reviewing technical issues and decision making. In some cases, a small number of people remain employed, depending on on-site activities, which often translates into local purchases of goods and services and payment of fees and property taxes.

The purpose of this post-closure period is to ensure that all reclaimed mine lands, water management structures and revegetation are working as intended. Additionally, reclamation and long-term stabilization often occur incrementally, requiring a phased approach as well as ongoing performance monitoring. There are maintenance activities to be conducted to address erosion, and monitoring to ensure that post-closure performance criteria are being met and intended land uses are being achieved. Normally, there are financial surety instruments in place, which require that Newmont demonstrate successful closure in order to be released from financial liability. In many cases, long-term water management obligations require active water treatment and monitoring that could last for decades. In such cases, financial trusts are often established in cooperation with regulatory agencies to ensure adequate funding for personnel, supplies and equipment to fulfill these ongoing obligations.

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