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Optimisation of copper treatment at Mount Isa Mines Limited


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Author Schache IS, Pritchard J and Canning RL


The surface treatment works in the Mount Isa Mines Limited copper stream consist of a concentrator and smelter with annual capacities of 5.6 million tonnes of ore and production of 155 000 tonnes of anode copper respectively. Both plants have been sites for process optimisation in recent years, the emphasis being to achieve productivity gains in each particular plant. The continued low real world prices for copper resulted in an in-depth review of the entire copper process stream. This indicated the need for developments within both the concentrator and smelter, and changes to operating strategy to ensure that the entire treatment stream could be optimised. The paper reviews these changes.