Bingham Canyon Copper
Chalcopyrite, or copper iron sulfide, is among the best-known copper minerals. Chalcopyrite crystals have unevenly faced tetrahedrons that are striated in different directions, a metallic luster and a brassy-gold color somewhat less yellow than pyrite. Crystals usually tarnish to iridescence or even to deep blues, purples or blacks. Among all metal sulfide minerals, only pyrite exceeds chalcopyrite’s crustal abundance. Chalcopyrite, however, is the most abundant copper mineral.Chalcopyrite is a popular mineral among collectors. Fine specimens, such as those from Arizona, Missouri and Mexico, may have well-formed tetrahedrons measuring as many as four or five inches across. Chalcopyrite’s true claim to fame, however, is not its visual appeal but that it is the major ore of copper. When it comes to sheer size in chalcopyrite deposits, nothing approaches the deposit at Bingham Canyon, Utah.For 90 years, Kennecott Utah Corporation’s Bingham Canyon Mine has been the granddaddy of all copper mines. Just how big is Bingham Canyon? Whether you’re talking about metal production or the actual size of the mine, Bingham Canyon is simply the largest copper mine in the world.To begin with a few production statistics, the Bingham Canyon Mine has produced more copper than any other mine in history–about 14.5 million tons of the metal. Bingham Canyon is primarily a copper mine, but it has also yielded a bonanza in byproduct metals. These include 18.5 million troy ounces (about 620 tons) of gold, 157 million troy ounces (nearly 5,000 tons) of silver, 610 million pounds of molybdenum and significant amounts of platinum and palladium. The cumulative value of Bingham Canyon metals far exceeds the total worth of the Comstock Lode and the California and Klondike gold rushes combined. With production statistics like that, it’s no wonder that the Bingham Canyon Mine has been nicknamed “the Richest Hole on Earth.”
The Bingham Canyon open pit stretches for 2.5 miles across the rim and is the largest manmade excavation on Earth
Rampura Agucha Open Cast Mine:
Hindustan Zinc Limited today is part of one of the top global companies Vedanta Limited. Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) is the only integrated Lead & Zinc manufacturer in India which owns captive Lead and Zinc Mines that supply complete requirement of Lead and Zinc concentrate for its smelters. Rampura Agucha is
presently having mining and beneficiation capacity of 6.15 and 6.50 million ton ore production and beneficiation. It is an ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 and SA-8000 certified Mines.
Rampura-Agucha Open Cast Mines once reached the capacity of 6.15 Mtpa ore production and beatification plant to produce zinc and lead concentrates. But currently it has been reduced to 1.7 Mtpa. Rampura-Agucha Open Cast and Underground Mines is one of the largest & richest Lead-Zinc deposits in the world. The Mines were commissioned in the year 1991 with capacity of 0.90 Mtpa. Further, the capacity of the Mines was increased from 0.90 Mtpa to 1.35 Mtpa. Furthermore the production was enhanced to 3.75 Mtpa in 2004-05. The production capacity was once again expanded to 5.00 Mtpa in 2007-08 and 6.15Mtpa Mines production and 6.50 Mtpa ore beneficiation plant in Dec.2009.
Rampura Agucha deposit is 5th largest deposit with a total of 75.03 Mt of reserves & resources with an
situ grade of 1.86 % Pb and 12.65% Zn and 3rd largest in terms of production of contained Zinc metal
in the world. Besides being a world-class deposit it also boasts of high complexity in terms of its geometallurgical
characteristics i.e. textural characters, which makes it challenging for a metallurgist to
achieve optimum recoveries and grade. The various mineralogical characteristics that directly impact
the process parameters are described in the paper.
Location: 225 km north of Udaipur (Rajasthan)
Mining Lease Area: 1,200 Ha
Reserves: 69.3 million tonnes
Resources: 41.1 million tonnes
Avg. reserves grade: 13.7% Zn, 1.9% Pb
Ore Production capacity: 6.15mtpa
Mining Method: Open Cast up to 372m,underground beyond
Waste Management: Waste dump (20m x 7 lifts)
GEOLOGY AND MINERALIZATION
Graphite mica sillimanite schist /Gneiss but as in several portions of the ore body ore mineral
concentration is more than 50 % it would be more appropriate to call the ore bearing rock as
Sphalerite — pyrrhotite silliminite graphite gneiss
Shape and Extent of Ore Body
The ore body is lens shaped with a maximum width of 100m in the central portion and an average
width of 58 m and extends for about 1550 m from S725 to N825. In the depth extent it is extending for
more than 750 m below surface level.
Sphalerite, Galena, Pyrite, Pyrrhotite, Arsenopyrite & other Sulpho salts
Quartz, Feldspar, Graphite, Sillimanite, Mica, Gypsum & Calcite
Modal Percentage Ranges
Sphalerite :15-20%, Galena: 1-2%, Pyrite:15-18%, Pyrrhotite : 12-14%, Graphite: 4-7-%,
Gangue : 45-50%.
Mineralogy of the Ore
The sphalerite is of two types; Coarse grained granular variety with abundance of more than 60 % (>74 microns) (Fig No 2) having inclusions of submicroscopic size pyrrhotite ( 5-10 microns) and fine grained, cataclastic variety (Fig No 3)containing fine grained< 50 microns inclusions of gangue minerals which are thoroughly intermixed with sphalerite and other sulfides leading to poor liberation. Fine grained sphalerite is noted wherever it has been involved in cataclasis The rounded fragments of quartz — felspar occur in a fine grained ground mass of sphalerite, pyrrhotite, pyrite and silicates. The rounded porphyroclasts of quatzo-felspathic materials are coarse grained while the sphalerite rich matrix is fine grained having inclusions of pyrrhotite, pyrite, quartz, plagioclase and potash felspar. Pyrrhotite inclusions are common in both coarse and fine grained sphalerite. Minor amounts of gangue minerals are also present in sphalerite ex graphite, silliminite and biotite.
Occurs as medium to fine grained intergrowths with sphalerite, pyrite, pyrrhotite also as inclusion in
other sulphides and entrapped in grains within graphite and micaceous minerals (10 — 20 microns) due
to which recovery may not exceed 65 % (Fig No 3). Coarse-grained Galena is found in hanging wall
area. Normally galena does not contain inclusions of other minerals but graphite occurs as inclusion in
galena. Besides occurring as granular aggregates galena is found as infilling along cleavages of mica and graphite. Galena displays deformation in the form of flowage, shearing out, emplacement along cleavage, fractures and as fine thin lamellar form.
Pyrite occurs as coarse grained aggregates intergrown with pyrrhotite and represents about 15-18 %
by volume. Large porphyroblasts of pyrite show brittle fractures filled with other sulfides.
Pyrrhotite occurs as granular medium grained aggregates associated with sphalerite and pyrite and
galena and represents about 12-14 % by volume. It also occurs commonly as 5- 10 micron inclusions
It is the commonest gangue mineral in association with ore minerals. It occurs as coarse 150 microns
by 50 microns long grains showing bent and kinked flakes and fine grained fracture fillings encircling
other gangue and ore minerals and represents about 7- 10 % by volume and is interlocked with
Sphalerite and galena to form a sandwich like texture.
Major Focus Areas:
−Focused exploration to enhancethe reserves & resources base
−Operational efficiencyimprovement through continuousimprovement initiatives
−Continuous technological up-gradation
−Utilization of HEMM at par withglobal benchmark
Mine planning and designing:
Pit designing and optmization with best in class software
Ramp gradient changed to 1:16 to 1:12 and finally to 1:10, resulting into 10% reduction of waste and improvement OEE of HEMM
Drilling & Blasting:
ANFO to SME (Site mix emulsion) and from D Chord to electronic detonator.
Established (in consultation with CIMFR) and carrying out pre-splitting at the perimeter of every cut back –
enabled mining upto a depth of 400m.
Loading & Hauling:
Bigger fleet from 50 T to 100 T and to 221 T class trucks and excavators from 4.3 Cub M to 34 Cub M
Real TIME management through Truck Dispatch System (TDS) improved truck utilization from 70% to