The project is located within the Sierra Gorda Mine, in the Atacama Desert, in the Antofagasta region, approximately 60 km southwest of Calama City, in the north of Chile. The project assumes copper recovery from the oxide ore, which is an overburden of the sulphide ore deposit currently being exploited by the Sierra Gorda mine.
Basic Engineering for the project is completed, as well as partially developed Detailed Engineering. In order to confirm the project assumptions, pilot tests of heap leaching of the oxide ore were also carried out. Additional works are ongoing in order to increase project efficiency and minimise its potential risks.
The Sierra Gorda Oxide project involves leaching of the oxide ore and production of high-quality copper cathodes in the SX-EW plant. Most of the oxide ore resources are already mined and located in a proximity of the future location of the plant. The oxide ore will be leached on a permanent heap with sulphuric acid solutions. Copper cathodes will be produced from the leaching solution in the solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) plant.