SHOWCASE COPPER MINE OF THE WEEK - ESCONDIDA!!
Escondida copper mine in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is currently the world’s largest copper mine by reserve. The mine contained more than 32 million tonnes (Mt) of recoverable copper reserves at the end of 2012. Escondida is also the world’s largest copper producing mine – in the financial year ending June 2013 output stood at 1.1Mt, accounting for about five percent of global copper production. BHP-Billiton operates the Escondida mine, holding 57.5% interest. Other stakeholders include Rio Tinto (30%), a Japanese consortium headed by Mitsubishi (10%) and the International Finance Corporation (2.5%). The mine has been in operation since late 1990 and is currently one of the ten deepest open-pit mines in the world. The reserve life of Escondida is estimated to be 54 years. Copper concentrate is produced from sulphide ore of the mine through floatation. The mine also produces copper cathodes from oxide and sulphide leach ore. Sulphide ore comprises more than 82% of the mine’s copper reserves - Mining Technology.
To view the mine in Google Earth, kindly click on the link below: