The Quebrada Blanca Copper Project

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 87, No. 985, 1994

J.H. Gray, B.R. McEwen, CESL, Calgary, Alberta, and A.N. Samis, Corninco Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia

The Quebrada Blanca Copper Mine is an open pit copper project located at 4200 m elevation in the Chilean Andes. The deposit is a world-class supergene enriched porphyry with a mining reserve of 89 Mt of 1.3% copper. The supergene zone will produce 6.3 Mt of ore per year for more than 15 years to produce 75 000 t of cathode copper per year. This paper will review the project geology. the computer modelling of the deposit, the mine planning process and the property production scheduling. With copper production fixed by the onsite electrowinning capacity, the planning and scheduling aspects to optimize the project NPV will be discussed. Some of the logistics, equipment. personnel and process difficulties of operating a mine at 4200 m elevation will also be described.