Cerro Verde became part of the Freeport-McMoRan mining portfolio in 2007. It is an open-pit copper and molybdenum mining complex.
Location: 20 miles southwest of Arequipa, Peru, the country's second largest city.
The mine is located 32 km southwest of Arequipa in southern Peru. The mine has a mining concession covering approximately 21482 ha plus 6.1 ha of real properties and 8.9 ha of rights-of-way outside the mining concession area.
Geology and Mineralization
The property includes three mining concessions Cerro Verde 1, 2 and 3, covering approximately 20,825 ha where deposits Santa Rosa, Cerro Verde and Cerro Negro are included.
The Cerro Verde mine is developed on a porphyry copper deposit that has leachable oxide and secondary sulfide mineralization, and millable primary sulfide mineralization. The predominant oxide copper minerals are brochantite, chrysocolla, malachite and copper "pitch;" chalcocite and covellite are the most important secondary copper sulfide minerals. Chalcopyrite and molybdenite are the dominant primary sulfides.
Cerro Verde's current operation consists of an open-pit copper mine and SX/EW leaching facilities. Leach-copper production is derived from a 40,000 ton-per-day crushed leach facility and a ROM leach system. This leaching operation produces over 200 million pounds of copper per year. Construction of Cerro Verde's new 119,000 ton-per-day concentrator was completed in late 2006. In Jun/7, the mill reached design capacity of 108,000 metric tons of ore per day. With the completion of the expansion, copper production at Cerro Verde is expected to approximate 650 million pounds per year. In addition, the expansion is expected to produce an average of approximately 8 million pounds of molybdenum per year for the next five years.
The mine has been in operation since 1976.
The mine moves an average of 300,000 tons of material per day using a fleet of 200-ton and 255-ton haul trucks loaded by shovels with bucket sizes ranging in size from 28 to 60 cubic yards. Copper cathodes and concentrate production are transported approximately 70 miles by truck and rail to the Pacific Port of Matarani for shipment to international markets. "
Mining & Operations
Three vertical shafts and a decline access the orebody, which is worked using a variation of sublevel open stoping. Stopes are backfilled with cemented aggregate of crushed waste rock, deslimed mill tailings, cement and pulverised fuel ash.
The mine capacity is 235,000t/y of refined copper and 4,500t/y of high-grade uranium oxide, plus 100,000 oz gold and 800,000 oz silver per year.
Processes and facilities: Crusher/conveyor, agglomerating facility, stacker/conveyor and SX/EW facility.