Achieving the highest-ever monthly copper recovery at Capricorn Copper Mine

In May 2020, the Capricorn Copper Concentrator Team achieved a record copper recovery for the month, exceeding the previous best by over 2%.

This achievement is a result of numerous metallurgical projects, continued improvement in operating and maintenance practices, and a pinch of favourable ore types.

After initially assisting Capricorn Copper in the refurbishment and restart of the operation, over 12 months ago, our team took over the operation of the concentrator and started on a journey to improve performance, focusing on a few areas as follows:

  • Stabilising and increasing milling rates
  • Improving plant operating time and increasing mean time between failure (MTBF)
  • Debottlenecking the flotation and tailings circuits

In addition, our Operations & Maintenance team has also implemented a number of specific projects to improve copper recovery, including:

  • Better understanding and segregation of metallurgical domains
  • Improvements to water chemistry
  • Increased circuit automation and loop tuning 
  • Reagent optimisation
  • Standardised operating practices

“This new record has been a true team effort!  I remain confident that as we continue to implement additional metallurgical improvement projects over the coming months, we will see recoveries improve even further.” Jo Mackenzie, Ausenco Operations & Maintenance General Manager, said.

We thank the whole Capricorn Copper team for their continued commitment to deliver for our client, and would like to also recognise the team in Brisbane for assisting with engineering, metallurgical analysis and project support.

 

About the Capricorn Copper Operations & Maintenance Project:

The Capricorn Copper Mine is located in Gunpowder, Australia and has a rich history dating back to the first discovery of mineralization in 1882.

In 2016, under new ownership, Restart Execution Studies (RES) were performed to confirm the business case and to define the optimal plans and strategies to recommence operations. In November 2017, following a successful Refurbishment and Restart Program, copper concentrate was produced.

 In late 2018, Ausenco commenced management of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of the concentrator and surface infrastructure. Our team of around 80 personnel are tasked with improving the plant performance.

Learn more about the project. 

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