Codelco Dedicates Ministro Hales Mine

An aerial view of the Rio Doce (Doce River) on November 23, which was flooded with
mud afterNow producing copper concentrate and expected to reach commercial production
status in March, the jointventure Jabal Sayid mine—shown here in the late construction
stage—is located about 200 miles inland from the port of Yanbu on the Red Sea.
(Photo: Saudi Arabian Mining Co.)
In a ceremony held in January, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet officially opened Codelco’s newest mine, Ministro Hales. After touring the facilities of the open-pit operation and climbing aboard one of its haul trucks, Bachelet said, “We are setting a historic milestone…because we are taking the first step of many that we will take to keep Codelco at the forefront of world mining, while driving the development of Chile. To talk about Codelco is to talk about our history, it is also to talk about our present, and—more than any other thing—it is to talk about the future.”

Nelson Pizarro, CEO of Codelco, highlighted the early accomplishments of the new division. “We are heading toward a more efficient and productive way to mine, with lower operating costs, which will provide a greater return for the owner,” Pizarro said. “In just one year of operation, Ministro Hales has become our most productive operation, yielding 67 metric tons (mt) of fine copper per person.”

The deposit contains more than 1.3 million tons of copper, with an average ore grade of 0.96%, Cu. The mine will operate as an open-pit operation for 14 years before transitioning underground. Total mine life is estimated at 50 years.

Construction on the $3.2 billion project began in September 2010. Waste rock removal work during its prestripping phase was reportedly the largest in history, involving removal of 228 million tons of material.

As featured in Womp 2016 Vol 02 -