Lessons Learnt From Heap Leaching Operations In South America - An Update

Ulrich, B.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2003
The basis of this paper is a compilation of work in the design and construction of copper heap leach facilities, and interviews with various heap leach operations personnel in Chile and Peru. The purpose is not to highlight specific mines and their performance, but rather to discuss geotechnical/civil features of copper heap leach facilities that function well, as well as features that do not. During the 1990s several copper heap leach facilities were brought on-line in South America. Many of these facilities have now been operational for a number of years during which time the operators have been able to monitor the performance of their heaps. This paper serves as a compilation of operators? experiences, and provides a discussion of the lessons learnt over the past decade. Several key geotechnical issues are examined, focusing upon the integrity of the ore, drainage material and pipe network, along with the success of inter-lift liners. This conference provides a timely update of the original paper (Burkhalter et al, 2002).
Full Article Download:
(545 kb)