|Owners||Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.|
|Operator||Climax Molybdenum Co.|
Molybdenum - 30 Mlbs annual capacity
|Deposit Type||Porphyry molybdenum (Climax-type)|
|Reserves & Resources||
Molybdenum - 165 Mt @ 0.17% (Dec 31, 2008, proven and probable reserves)
|Mine Type||Surface & Underground|
|Mining Method||Open pit & Sub-level induced panel caving|
|Processing Method||Crushing, grinding, flotation|
|Processing equipment||Crushers, SAG mills, flotation circuit|
Last updated: May 11, 2012
The Climax molybdenum mine is located 13 miles northeast of Leadville, Colorado, USA. The Climax mine is a porphyry molybdenum deposit with molybdenite as the primary sulfide mineral. It is an open pit and undergroound mining operation owned by Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc.
In 2011, construction activities were ongoing at Climax molybdenum mine, which was placed on care-and-maintenance status in 1995. Recent activities included the completion of concrete foundations for various equipment installations and commencement of the ball mill shell assembly. The timing for start up of mining and milling activities is dependent on market conditions. The Climax molybdenum mine would have an initial annual design capacity of 30 million pounds with significant expansion options.
Freeport McMoran intends to re-start the mine in 2012 and ramp up production to 20 million pounds molybdenum per year in 2013. Production might be increased to 30 million pounds molybdenum per year if market conditions improve.
The Climax molybdenum mine is located 13 miles northeast of Leadville, Colorado. Colorado is a Soutwestern US state and its capital is Denver.
Prospector Charles Senter was the first to stake an occurrence of molybdenite at Climax in 1879 during a local silver rush. Even though at the time there was no use for the uncommon metal he kept the claims active for the rest of his life. Later on the steelmakers learned that molybdenum improves the steel qualities and it was in 1915 that the first shippment of molybdenum was produced at the mine.
The Climax mine is located in a mountainous region. The highest bench elevation is approximately 4,050 meters above sea level, and the ultimate pit bottom is expected to have an elevation of approximately 3,100 meters above sea level. The Climax operation encompasses approximately 14,339 acres of patented mining claims and other fee lands.
The Climax mine deposit is a classic porphyry molybdenum deposit with molybdenite as the primary sulfide mineral.
The deposit consists of ore shells of quartz-molybdenite stockwork veins that lie above and surrounding the apices of cupola-like, highly evolved, calc-alkaline granite and subvolcanic rhyolite-porphyry bodies. Ground preparation was created by hydrofracturing and the resulting stockwork fissures were filled in by exsolved magmatic fluids containing molybdenum.
Underground mining operations consisted of sub-level induced panel caving a mining method that is basically cutting the base of the panel and creating a void where controlled breaking of the ovelying rock takes place. This bulk mining method allows mining of lower grade deposits.
The open pit mining was a conventional truck and shovel mining operation. The mine is to be re-started in 2012 and is to ramp up production to 20 million pounds molybdenum per year in 2013. Production might be increased to 30 million pounds molybdenum per year if market conditions improve.
Climax mine produces a molybdenum concentrate through crushing, grinding and flotation. Rhenium is a by-product of molybdenum mining.
Consistent with the company philosophy, all locations have diligently worked on continual improvement efforts in the area of environmental management. Such efforts have focused on not only minimizing impact on the environment and complying with the myriad of environmental laws and regulations, but also have included measures to improve environmental quality.
The key to these efforts has been incorporating environmental responsibilities and related activities into the company's day-to-day operations.
Underlying all mining, milling and production operations is the company's belief that mineral wealth can be utilized for human progress in harmony with conservation and recreation. A tremendous amount of environmental care and attention has been expended on all company's operations