The Candelaria and Ojos del Salado mines and surrounding tenements are located in Chile's Atacama Province, Region III, at an elevation of approximately 650 metres above sea level, 20 km south of the city of Copiapó and 650 km north of Santiago.
Candelaria consists of an open pit mine and an underground mine providing copper ore to an on-site concentrator with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per day. Ojos del Salado comprises two underground mines, Santos and Alcaparrosa. The Santos mine provides copper ore to an on-site concentrator with a capacity of 3,800 tonnes per day, while ore from the Alcaparrosa mine is treated at the Candelaria concentrator.
The properties are easily accessed using the public road system. Personnel employed by Candelaria and Ojos del Salado come primarily from the Copiapó region. Copiapó is a modern city with all regular services and a population of approximately 160,000. Copiapó regional airport is serviced by regional flights from Santiago and other destinations on a daily basis.
In November 2014, Lundin Mining acquired an 80% ownership stake in Candelaria and Ojos del Salado from Freeport-McMoRan Inc.
The copper-gold sulphide mineralization at Candelaria is generally referred to as iron oxide copper gold mineralization. The sulphide mineralization occurs in breccias, stockwork veinlets, disseminations in andesite and an internal tuff unit. There are also some localized controls to mineralization in the form of faults, breccias, veins and foliation.
The mineralization assemblage at the Candelaria Mine consists of chalcopyrite, magnetite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, and sphalerite. Biotite, calc-silicate minerals, and potassium feldspar constitute the gangue minerals. Pervasive potassic alteration is associated with the mineralization.
Chalcopyrite is the only primary copper sulphide present in the Santos mine. Additionally to copper mineralization, there are economic values of gold. Most frequent gangue minerals are pyrite, magnetite, actinolite, k-feldspar, chlorite, biotite and hematite.
Ore and gangue mineralogy at the Alcaparrosa mine consists of chalcopyrite, pyrite, and magnetite, with trace pyrrhotite, molybdenite, and arsenopyrite.
The open pit mine operates with an overall mining rate of approximately 235,000 tonnes per day including 66,000 tonnes per day of ore sent to the Candelaria concentrator. The average grade of the ore mined from the open pit over the remaining life of mine is 0.57% copper while stockpiled work in progress material averages 0.36% copper.
The Candelaria Norte underground mine produces 6,000 tonnes per day. The Alcaparrosa underground mine produces 4,000 tonnes per day of ore and Santos produces 3,750 tonnes per day. The mining method in all three underground mines is sublevel open stoping.
Candelaria and Ojos del Salado operate their own processing plants. The Candelaria processing plant receives ore from the open pit and Candelaria Norte and Alcaparrosa underground mines. It has a nominal capacity of 75,000 tonnes per day. The PAC processing plant receives ore from the Santos underground mine and has a design capacity of 3,800 tonnes per day.
Mineral Reserves and Resources for Candelaria were estimated by Lundin Mining and audited by SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. Qualified Persons are Jean-Francois Couture, P.Geo., Glen Cole, P.Geo., Gary Poxleitner, P.Eng., Adrian Dance, P.Eng., and Cam Scott, P.Eng., from SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. and John Nilsson, P.Eng., from Nilsson Mine Services Ltd.
Please see Annual Information Form
, Financial Statements
, Technical Report
and Reserves & Resources
for further information.