Lundin Mining Corporation- 100%
|Operator||Rio Narcea Recursos, S.A.|
|Production||Mine re-opened in August 2012|
|Deposit Type||Magmatic nickel copper sulphide|
|Reserves & Resources||
Nickel - 858 Mlbs (proven & probable, Dec 2011)
Copper - 57 Mlbs
|Mining Method||Open pit|
|Processing Method||Crushing, milling, flotation|
|Mine Life||To 2017|
Truck & shovel
|Processing equipment||Crushers (primary & secondary), mills (SAG & ball), flotation circuit|
Corporate Head Office:
Last updated: August 29, 2012
Aguablanca nickel-copper mining operation covers 2,862 hectares and is located 80 kilometers northwest of Seville in the Spanish province of Badajoz. The mine is 100% owned by Lundin Mining Corporation which acquired it in July 2007.
The nickel bearing Aguablanca gossan was discovered in 1993 by Rio Tinto Minera. The first concentrate was produced on December 2004.
It is a conventional open pit mining operation and on-site processing facility consisting of milling and flotation. Mill capacity is 1.9 million tonnes of ore per year. It produces a bulk copper-nickel concentrate.
In December 2010, following a period of heavy rains a significant slope failure event occurred and mining operations were suspended pending further review. Production recommenced in August 2012.
The Aguablanca mine is located 80 km by road northwest of Seville in the Badajoz province of Spain. The mine is also 30 kilometers south of the town of Monesterio. The province of Badajoz is part of the autonomous community of Extremadura located in western Spain.
Topography is subdued with the mine located at 450 meters to 500 meters above sea level. Vegetation comprises trees and bushes. Climate is Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters.
The Aguablanca deposit is located in the southeastern part of the west-northwest trending Ossa Morena Lithostructural Zone, which extends into Portugal and covers an area 120 kilometres by 240 kilometres.
The Aguablanca deposit represents a typical magmatic Ni-Cu sulfide mineralization hosted by various facies of gabbro. Ultramafic rocks such as pyroxenite and peridotite have also been intersected in diamond drill holes. Sulfide mineralization consists predominantly of pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite and pyrite with minor marcasite and covellite. Magnetite is commonly present and lesser amounts of PGM and gold are associated with the sulfide minerals.
Ore consists of semi-massive breccia sulfide and the disseminated sulfide ores, both bearing nickel and copper values. The nickel is present mostly as pentlandite and the copper only as chalcopyrite; minor nickel is contained in pyrrhotite. Most of the gangue is composed of silicates (amphibole, pyroxene) and pyrrhotite.
The mine’s proven and probable reserves were estimated (December 2011) at 6.5 Mt at 0.6% nickel and 0.4% copper. The reserves could sustain a 5 year mining operation.
Aguablanca is a conventional open pit mining operation. Mining is being carried out by a contractor which uses a conventional drill and blast, and a truck and shovel fleet. Mining is carried out by using 8 m benches.
Waste rock is stored to the north of the pit.
An underground mining study was initiated in late 2011 to define potential high grade feed to supplement open pit production.
Run of mine ore is stockpiled, then blended and primary crushed. The ore is subsequently conveyor fed to a conventional grinding and flotation circuit to produce a bulk nickel-copper concentrate. The concentrate is then thickened and filtered to produce a filter cake suitable for transportation by trucks over 125 kilometers to the port of Huelva.
Tailings are stored in a fully lined tailings impoundment and decant water is returned to the process plant.
There are no major cities or towns near the mine site but a few hundred people that live in small villages.
Lundin Mining’s policy is to conduct its business responsibly and in a manner designed to protect their employees, adjacent communities and the natural environment. The company is committed to achieving a safe, productive and healthy work environment and to upholding the values of human rights. Lundin Mining seeks to create sustainable value for employees, business partners and the communities in which they work.