IMAGE GALLERY: Throwing the switch on KGHM's Sierra Gorda mine in the Atacama Desert

The mine is located in the Antofagasta region within the Atacama Desert, Chile’s largest copper producing region. Image courtesy of KGHM

KGHM started feeding ore into the process plant in its Sierra Gorda mine in Chile this week.

Sierra Gorda SCM, operated by KGHM International, is a joint venture between KGHM (55%), Sumitomo Metal Mining (31.5%) and the Sumitomo Corporation (13.5%). The mine is located in the Antofagasta region within the Atacama Desert.

The key infrastructure elements are in place.

  • Production of copper concentrates have been successfully completed and commissioned.
  • The pre-stripping process at the mine pit was completed in April 2014, with a total of 192 million tons of material removed.
  • At the plant site the key processes such as crushing, grinding and flotation plants were successfully launched.
  • A 143-kilometre coastal pipeline is operational that fills a pond with 750,000 metres of seawater.

The mine's opening ceremony is planned this autumn.

KGHM started feeding ore into the process plant in its Sierra Gorda mine in Chile this week

A 143 km seawater pipeline is operation, providing sewater to the 750,000 cubic metres seawater pond. Image courtesy of KGHM

After the mine’s ramp-up, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2015, Sierra Gorda will produce 120 thousand tons of copper, 50 million lbs. of molybdenum and 60 thousand oz. of gold annually. Image courtesy of KGHM

First copper concentrate will be shipped from Sierra Gorda in September of this year. Image courtesy of KGHM

Sierra Gorda is located in the Antofagasta region within the Atacama Desert, which is Chile’s largest copper producing region. Image courtesy of KGHM