The Phelps Dodge Tyrone Concentrator

Witthauer, Foster J. ; Ramsey, Robert J. ; Finkelstein, N.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1976
First mining operations in the Tyrone District, located just north of the Burro Mountains in Grant County, New Mexico, commenced in the 1870's. A major operation was undertaken by Phelps Dodge Corporation in the early 1900's when a 2,000 ton per day underground mine was developed and a gravity concentrator was built east of the mine and across the Continental Divide. It was during this time that the picturesque Tyrone townsite was built and occupied. In 1921, however, the underground operation was closed because of high operating costs and low demand for copper. The area was drilled extensively during the 1950's and in October 1966 Phelps Dodge announced the pending development of the new Tyrone with a large open-pit mine, a modern concentrator, suitable support facilities, and a new townsite to be located between the mine and Silver City. Stripping for the pit and construction of shop and milling facilities began in 1967. By the spring of 1969, ore was being stockpiled near the primary crusher. Operation of the concentrator on a 3-shift per day basis commenced on July 17, 1969. The concentrator as initially built had one primary, two secondary, and five tertiary cone crushers, two grinding sections of six ball mills each, two flotation sections, four filters, and four tailing thickeners. 'he capacity was about 30,000 tons per day. In 1971 and 1972, the capacity was increased to 48,000 tons per day by the addition of one secondary and two tertiary crushers, one section of eight ball mills, one flotation section, two filters, and four more tailing thickeners. Centralized automatic control was built into the original and expanded facilities to the greatest extent possible, considering the state of the art at that time. Installation of additional control
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