Diagnose Heap Leach Operation - Chile


Identify the major controls on metallurgical performance to improve copper extraction


Laboratory hydrodynamic characterization to identify the effect of fines on percolation and retention capacity of the ore. Extensive field characterization to define effect of fines on the leaching process. Select operational changes designed to improve the economics of copper extraction.


  • Define ore management practices to improve percolation capacity of the ore
  • Demonstrate that a US$25M fines-removal program is not necessary
  • Identify ore types contributing to overall lower copper recovery
  • Design improve operational conditions to be tested on a pilot test
  • Operational data show that it would be possible to improve Cu recovery while reducing acid consumption and the duration of the leach cycle

Troubleshooting Heap Leaching Operation