Development of the Salobo Project
CIM Vancouver 2010
Mauricio Guimarães Bergerman, Paulo Henrique Godoy, Marco Nankran,
The Salobo Project will be the first operation in Vale to use HPGR mill to process copper-gold ore. The mine is located in Para state, south east of Amazon region in Brazil.
The circuit was designed to treat 12 million metric tons per year of finely disseminated sulphide ore with high hardness. The comminution circuit comprises a gyratory primary crusher, secondary crushing utilizing two cone crushers, two 2 x 1,5 m HPGR operating in closed configuration with 6 mm screens, followed by two 26 x 40 ft ball mills. The concentration circuit consists of two rougher flotation stages using mechanical cells, regrinding with vertical mills, three cleaner stages with columns and one cleaner scavenger stage in mechanical cells. The concentrate is dewatered, filtered and transported by trucks and train to the port to be exported.
The circuit was designed on the basis of data obtained from a comprehensive pilot plant campaign. The ore variability was assessed through simulation using data from a drilling core characterization program. The start-up of the industrial plant is planned for 2011.
This paper describes the main aspects of circuit design, as well as information related to the beginning of the project construction.
Design, Copper, Salobo, Project