Agarak copper-molybdenum combine plant

AGARAK COPPER-MOLYBDENUM COMBINE PLANT (RU: Агаракский медно-молибденовый комбинат) is the enterprise for the extraction and benefication of the copper-molybdenum ores in the Armenian SSR. It has been built (1949-63) on the basis of the Agarak copper-molybdenum deposit, which has been discovered in 1853. The main industrial centre is the Agarak city. The plant comprises the open pit mine, the beneficiation plant, the mechanical repair and auxiliary shops.

The Agarak deposit (the area of approximately 1 square kilometre) is located at the south-eastern spurs of the Zangezur ridge, at the southern edge of the Pambak-Zangezur structural metallogenic zone. The deposit is associated with the zone of the Spetrinsky fault, which divides the Meghri pluton of the granitoids along the meridional direction. The host rocks are the granosyenites (the marginal facies of the monzonites), which are intruded by the stock and the dikes of the granodiorite porphyries. The ore stockwork forms the zone of 1 kilometre in length, which has been tracked down to the depth of 600 metres.

The main ore minerals are: pyrite, chalcopyrite, molybdenite, bornite, chalcocite, covellite, in several places magnetite and hematite; the vein minerals are: quartz, sericite, chlorite, epidote, carbonates. The greatest concentration of the ore minerals is along the eastern contact of the granodiorite porphyry stock with the granosyenites, as well as in the tectonic zones of the north-east direction. The ores are vein-disseminated, with the 1:20 ratio of Mo and Cu. The main mineral components of the ores are: copper, molybdenum, and sulfur.

The deposit is developed by the open-pit method with the usage of the stripping system with the overburden transport, and the movement of the overburden rocks to the external waste dumps. The height of the benches is 15 metres. At the stripping and the extraction of the ore the loading is performed by the cyclic action excavators, and the transport is the dump trucks. The extraction of the ore is 95%, the dilution is 4%. The technology of the benefication is the collective-selective flotation process, which allows to get 49-50% of the molybdenum and 15% of the copper concentrates; the extraction is 76-77% for molybdenum, and 79-80% for copper.

The plant has been awarded with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1971).