Revenue Maximisation of Base Metal Mines

, ; Walton M C,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
A combination of flotation and smelting technologies is proposed as a cost-effective means to maximise the revenue of base metal operations. The proposed treatment route breaks the grade - recovery nexus associated with the treatment of ores exhibiting difficult mineralogy in conventional plants. Aspects of the two technologies are reviewed and typical capital and operating costs presented. A significant improvement in revenue is demonstrated in a worked example, where a copper-lead-zinc operation is examined in terms of the conventional and proposed treatment options. For the selected ore, the net smelter return per tonne of mill feed improved 57 per cent, from US$89.70 to US$141.10 with the proposed treatment option. This represents an additional US$51.4 million in annual revenue. Metallurgical operating costs increased by US$20.12 per tonne of mill feed for an incremental capital requirement of US$30.3 million for an existing operation.
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