Copper Zinc Mine
Neves-Corvo is a copper and zinc mine that is owned and operated by the Portuguese company Somincor, which is a subsidiary of Lundin Mining. It is situated approximately 220 km southeast of Lisbon in the Alentejo district of southern Portugal. The mine site lies some 15 km southeast of the town of Castro Verde and exploits five major orebodies from an underground mine. The ore is processed on-site and tailings are disposed of in the Cerro de Lobo impoundment some 3 km from the plant. Concentrates are dispatched by rail and road for onward shipping to customers.
Neves-Corvo has good connections to the national road network which links with Faro to the south and Lisbon to the north. The mine has a dedicated rail link into the Portuguese rail network and to the port of Setúbal. Fresh water is supplied to the mine via a 400 mm diameter pipeline from the Santa Clara reservoir, approximately 40 km west of the mine. The mine is connected to the national grid by a single 150 kV, 50 MVA rated, overhead power line 22.5 km long.
Six massive sulphide lenses have been defined at Neves-Corvo comprising Neves (divided into North and South), Corvo, Graça, Zambujal, Lombador (divided North, South and East), and Semblana. The base metal grades are segregated by the strong metal zoning into copper, tin and zinc zones, as well as barren massive pyrite. The massive sulphide deposits are typically underlain by stockwork sulphide zones which form an important part of the copper orebodies.
The principle means of mine access are provided by one vertical 5 m diameter shaft and a ramp from surface. The shaft is used to hoist ore from the 700 m level. The surface is nominally 1200 m above datum. A conveyor decline descends from the 700 m level to the 550 m level and provides ore hoisting from the deeper levels of the mine. The mine is highly mechanized and a number of different stoping methods are employed but the most significant are bench-and-fill and drift-and-fill. Backfill is provided by hydraulically placed sand, paste tailings and internally generated waste rock.
The treatment facility at Neves-Corvo comprises of two processing plants. The copper plant treats copper ores and has a maximum capacity of approximately 2.6 mtpa and the zinc plant (former tin plant) which treats zinc or copper ores was expanded to 1.0 mtpa capacity during 2011. Both processing plants comprise secondary crushing, rod and ball mill grinding circuits, flotation cells and concentrate thickening and dewatering. In mid-2009, modifications to the copper plant were completed to regrind and recover additional copper and zinc concentrate from the copper tailings stream.
The mining concession provides sufficient surface rights to accommodate the existing mine infrastructure and allows for expansion if required.
Please see Annual Information Form
and Quarterly Operations Updates
and Financial Statements
for further information.
Quarterly Operations Update