The Cyprus Pima Concentrator

Ramsey, Terry ; Finkelstein, N.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 21
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1976
INTRODUCTION The Cyprus Pima Mine is located 20 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona and about fifty miles north of the Mexican border. The Cyprus Pima orebody was discovered in 1950. Feasibility studies were begun in 1952 employing underground development. Economic studies showed open pit operations to be feasible and stripping of overburden was begun in late 1955. The first ore was reached in October of 1956. A 3,000 tpd (tons per day) concentrator was completed and began operation January 1, 1957. From these beginnings, Cyprus Pima Mining Company has expanded into a plant processing approximately 54,000 to 56,000 tpd. Four expansions were required to bring the plant up to its present capacity. Each expansion incorporated what had been learned in previous operation of the plant. The first expansion was completed in August of 1963 doubling design capacity to 6,000 tpd. In reality, because of softer than average ore, capacity was closer to 8,000 tpd. Expansion I1 was completed in July 1966 bringing design capacity to 18,000 tpd. Expansion I11 followed immediately. Completed in the summer of 1967, this expansion increased the design capacity to 30,000 tpd. The actual dry tonnage of this portion of the operation in 1974 averaged 38,400 tpd, again, primarily as the result of treating softer than average ore. The latest expansion (Expansion IV), completed in December 1971 and utilizing a semi-autogenous grinding circuit, is located in a separate building (Mill 11) approximately 200 yards southeast of the original mill (Mill I). Expansion IV was designed for 14,000 tpd, but after circuit modifications, averaged 16,500 tpd in 1974.
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