Teck’s Andacollo Hypogene Project
Teck own a 90% interest and operates the Carmen de Andacollo mine in Chile, located 350 kilometres north of Santiago, with the remaining 10% owned by ENAMI. The mine is currently exploiting the supergene portion of the Andacollo deposit utilizing heap leaching, solvent extraction and electro winning to produce approximately 20,000 tonnes/year of cathode copper.
The Hypogene Project includes the development and construction of a 55,000 tonne per day concentrator and tailings facility which is expected to produce 76,000 tonnes (168 million pounds) of copper and 53,000 ounces of gold in concentrate annually, on average, over the first 10 years of the project. The new concentrator will be fed from the hypogene portion of the deposit (under the current supergene). Hypogene mineral reserves (at year end 2008) were reported at 400 million tonnes grading 0.39% copper and 0.13 g/t gold which will allow for a 21 year mine life.
Project construction was carried out over a period of 30 months with mechanical completion achieved at the end of November 2009. Commissioning is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009 and ramp-up to commercial production is anticipated in the first half of 2010.
This paper will provide an update on the construction, commissioning and start-up of the project.