Spence Mine Expansion
The Chilean environmental authority has
approved the expansion of the Spence
copper mine, which would amount to an
investment of about $2.5 billion. The
execution decision, however, will have to
wait until August, according to El Mercurio.
The new expansion includes the
construction of a concentrator plant to
increase production and extend the life of
the deposit about 20 years. The Committee
on Environmental Assessment (CEA)
of Antofagasta decided unanimously to
approve the BHP initiative. Environmental
approval of Spence’s expansion could
pave the way for its execution.
Spence is part of BHP Billiton’s Pampa
Norte division in the Atacama Desert,
which also includes Cerro Colorado.
During 2016, Spence and Cerro Colorado
produced 174,000 metric tons (mt) and
77,000 mt, respectively, of high-quality
copper cathode, using oxide and sulphide
ore treatment through leaching, solvent
extraction and electrowinning processes.
Spence is BHP’s second largest mine in
Chile after Escondida.
As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 08 - www.womp-int.com