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Copper Mountain begins commissioning third ball mill

The Copper Mountain pit. Credit: Copper Mountain Mining

Copper Mountain Mining (TSX: CMMC) has successfully installed and begun commissioning of the third ball mill in the mineral processing plant at its Copper Mountain copper-gold mine, 20 km south of Princeton, BC.

The additional equipment will help bring mill throughput up to 45,000 t/d from 40,000 t/d. Recovery is expected to increase as well with the finer grind. Guidance for the open pit operation in 2021 is 85 million to 95 million lb. of copper, 25,000 to 35,000 oz. of gold, and 500,000 to 550,000 oz. of silver.

Late last year, Copper Mountain released a new life-of-mine plan including an increase to concentrator capacity that would bring it up to 65,000 t/d. Exploration is underway to meet such a boost with ore from the potential North and New Ingerbelle deposits.

Copper Mountain is working on an electric trolley assist system for its haulage trucks in a move to reduce the operation’s greenhouse gas emissions. The project is due to be commissioned late this year.

The Copper Mountain mine is owned 75% and operated by Copper Mountain Mining; Mitsubishi Materials owns the remaining 25%.

As of Jan. 1, 2021, the Copper Mountain mine had measured and indicated resources of 597.1 million tonnes grading 0.24% copper, 0.10 g/t gold and 0.7 g/t silver, containing 4 billion lb. of copper, 1.7 million oz. of gold, and 10.6 million oz. of silver. The inferred resource was 311 million tonnes grading 0.2% copper, 0.01 g/t gold, and 0.5 g/t silver, containing 1.8 million lb. of copper, 1 million oz. of gold, and 5 million oz. of silver.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)