Eastern Kazakhstan copper-chemical combined enterprise

EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN COPPER-CHEMICAL COMBINED ENTERPRISE (RU: Восточно-Казахстанский медно-химический комбинат) is the ore-mining enterprise for the extraction and beneficiation of the ores within the Kazakh SSR, within the Eastern Kazakhstan province, the major industrial centre is the Ust-Talovka settlement of the urban type.

The construction of the Eastern Kazakhstan copper-chemical combined enterprise has been started during the 1964 on the basis of the Nikolaevskoe pyrite polymetallic deposit, which has been discovered during the 1749, and has been explored during the 1938-56. The first phase of the mining-beneficiation complex has been brought into the operation during the 1980. The enterprise includes the Nikolaevsky ore mine (open-pit mine), the Kamyshinsky open-pit mine, the beneficiation plant, and so on. There has been completed the exploration and has been started the mastering of the Shemonaikha deposit of the polymetallic ores. The major ore base is the Nikolaevskoe deposit on the south-eastern wing of the Aleysk anticlinorium, which has been formed of the volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Middle and Upper Devonian. The ore deposition has the horseshoe shape in the projection onto the horizontal plane, and on the transversal cross-sections, the deposition represents by itself the irregular curved lens, which is embedded at the depth of 35-450 metres. The tectonic disturbances divide the deposit into the Central and Western ore bodies. The dip of the deposition is southern, with the change of the angle from 60-70 to 10-20 degrees with the depth. The ore contacts are uneven, not orderly, and fuzzy at the lying side. The average thickness of the ore places is 29.6 metres, the thickness of the ore zone is from 20-30 to 50 metres, and is reaching 100 metres and more on the individual horizons.

According to the genetic feature, and to the technological properties, the ores are divided into the three grades: the metacolloidal ores (difficult to beneficiate) amount to 50-55%, the crystalline ores (easy to beneficiate) amount to 35-40%, and the transient ores amount to 10-15%. The main ore minerals are the pyrite, marcasite, melnikovite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, and wurtzite, while the galena, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, and other minerals exist in the small quantity. The major components of the ores are copper, zinc, and sulfur (with the ratio of 1:1.5:14).

The mixed and metacolloidal ores are prone to the spontaneous ignition, the crystalline and transient ores are prone to the spontaneous ignition, the deposit belongs to the type of the very dangerous deposits because of the fire.

There is used the opencast method for the development of the deposits. The designed depth of the development at the Nikolaevsky open-pit mine is 445 metres, at the Kamyshinsky open-pit mine is 130 metres, and at the Shemonaikha open-pit mine is 270 metres.

At the Nikolaevsky open-pit mine, there have been introduced the selective excavation of the ore according to the grades, and the system for the development using the transversal stopes, which are ensuring the highly effective fire-safe conducting of the extracting works. The losses of the ore are 1.5-2%, the dilution is 2-3%. The mixed Nikolaevsky ores with the increased content of copper have been processed at the copper smelting industrial plants of the Ural mountains without the beneficiation. The copper and copper-zinc ores, which are being extracted, are averaged at the edge of the open-pit mine, and are directed into the beneficiation according to the schemes for the collective and selective flotation. At the beneficiation plant, there are provided the technology for the autogenous fragmentation of the ores within the mills, and the flotational beneficiation; there have been organized the storage and averaging of the coarsely crushed ore within the enclosed storage depot on the floor, and the complete recycled water supply. The purification of the air, which is ejected into the atmosphere, is performed within the battery cyclones and scrubbers. There is performed the hydraulic dust suppression within the open-pit mine. Since the 1969, there has been organized at the combined enterprise the industrial production of the cementing copper using the method of the heap leaching of the discarded ores.