British Columbia, Canada
Copper Mountain Mining Corp. - 75%
|Operator||Similco Mines Ltd|
|Production||100 Mlbs copper per year (planned); Started in summer 2011|
|Deposit Type||Alkalic porphyry copper|
|Reserves & Resources||210 Mt @ 0.36% copper, 0.09 g/t gold (proven & probable, Dec 2011)|
|Mining Method||Open pit|
|Processing Method||Crushing, grinding, flotation|
|Mine Life||To 2028|
Komatsu PC 8000 hydraulic shovels (2), 240 ton Komatsu
|Processing equipment||Crushers, grinders, flotation circuit|
|Employees||310 (on-site employees, 2012)|
Copper Mountain Rd
Last updated: September 4, 2012
The Copper Mountain copper mine is located some 2700 km east of the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.
The copper deposit was initially mined by underground methods in the 1923 to 1957 period. Open pit mining was carried out between 1968 and 1996. Copper Mountain Mining Corporation owns 75% of Similco Mines Ltd the owner of the Copper Mountain mine. The balance is owned by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation a Japanese conglomerate which buys all the concentrate produced at the mine.
The open pit mine re-started production in the summer of 2011 and is expected to produce 100 million pounds of copper per year for the first 12 years. Thee 5 Billion pounds of contained copper would be enough for a 17 years mine life. Concentrate is transported to the Port of Vancouver for shipping to Japan.
The Copper Mountain mine is lopcated some 20 kilometers south of the town of Princeton in British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia is Canada's westernmost province. The mine site covers18,000 acres and consists primarily of 135 crown grants, 176 mineral claims and 14 mining leases
Access to the mine is via a 20 km paved road from Princeton. Princeton has a population of 3,000 people involved in ranching, forestry and tourism.
The mine site are topography is a plateau area which incised by the steep Similkameen River Canyon. The mining property straddles the river with the Ingerbelle deposit on the west side of the river and the Copper Mountain deposits on the east side of the river.
Climate is relatively dry which is typical for southern part of British Columbia. Snow on the ground averages 60-70 cm.
The Copper Mountain deposit is considered a typical alkali porphyry copper deposit with gold and silver credits.
The copper deposit is hosted by the Nicola Volcanic Belt that was intruded by granodioritic rocks. Therefore copper mineralization is hosted by granodiorites, coarse grained agglomerates, tuffs, breccias and andesites. Mineralization is structurally controlled and occurs mostly within altered rocks of the Nicola formation. The most common is the potassic alteration.
Mineralization occurs mainly as disseminated and stockwork chalcopyrite, bornite, chalcocite and pyrite; hematite, magnetite and chalcopyrite as replacement or veinlets; and, bornite, chalcopyrite associated with pegmatitic veins.
Barren post-mineralization dykes cut all lithologies. A major regional faul truns northwest-southeast - the Copper Mountain deposit lies on the north east side of the fault.
In addition to the current resources, significant exploration upside still exists on the Copper Mountain project.
The new Copper Mountain mining operation is a conventional open pit that would push back and mine three existing open pits into one large super pit over time.
The mine has a brand new mobile mining fleet consisting of two Komatsu PC 8000 hydraulic shovels, thirteen 240 ton Komatsu 830E haul trucks, one Komatsu WA 1200 loader, two PV271 Atlas Copco rotary drills, one PV351 Atlas Copco rotary drill, and a fleet of support equipment.
The mine utilizes a conventional crushing, grinding, and flotation to produce copper concentrates with gold and silver credits. The mine processing plan focuses on processing the higher–grade ore in the first twelve years, with lower grade material being sent to stockpiles for blending and processing later in the mine's life. The facility is designed to operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year with a 92% mechanical availability including pre–scheduled downtime for equipment maintenance. Concentrates are exported via the port of Vancouver to Mitsubishi smelters in Japan for treatment and sale.
The company has an off take agreement with Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, where Mitsubishi have agreed to purchase 100% of the projects concentrate at LME spot rates at the time of settlement.
No significant environmental issues were identified at the closure of the mine in 1996. Historical data indicates that waste rock and tailings are non-acid generating.
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