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The “Los Bronces” mine in Chile
Summary: The Chilean mining company “Corporación Nacional del Cobre” (Codelco) is the largest copper producer in the world. Its most important trading product are Grade A copper cathodes. The company operates at five mining sites: Chuquicamata, Radomiro Tomic, Salvador, Andina and El Teniente. In 2010, Codelco produced 1.76 million tonnes of fine copper. This corresponds to 11 % of the global copper production in 2010 (Tables 1 and 2). In addition, Codelco is one of the leading molybdenum producers in Latin America and in 2010 it achieved a total production of 21 677 tonnes. Codelco has the world’s largest known ­reserves and with the current production level, the deposits worked today allow a lifetime estimate of 70 years.

In 2001 the Los Bronces mine (Fig. 1), which is the property of the state-owned enterprise Codelco, was, however, granted in concession to the English company Anglo-American. This company, which employs 1700 people, is located in the “Región Metropolitana“ of Chile and its main activity is the processing of sulphide minerals. Los Bronces has a processing plant for sulphide minerals called Las Tórtolas, which is located 56 km from the extraction site. The minerals are concentrated by means of rougher cell flotation, thickening and drying. The company is currently undertaking one of the most...

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