Island Copper Mine

"ISLAND COPPER MINE", belonging to the "Utah International Inc.", is one of the largest enterprises of Canada for the extraction and benefication of the copper-molybdenum ores.

It is located in the British Columbia province, on the Vancouver island, near the Port Hardy city. It includes the open pit mine, beneficiation plant, and the auxiliary working shops. The copper-molybdenum Island Copper deposit is of the stockwork type, is developed since 1971. The reserves of the ore are about 250 million tonnes, with the content in the ore of Cu of 0.52% and of Mo of 0.017%; Au, Ag, Re are also present. The designed sizes of the open pit: the length is 2400 metres, the width is 1250 metres, the depth is 360 metres. The annual deepening of the mining works is 15-20 metres. The daily productive capacity of the open pit is 38 thousand tonnes of the ore. The system of the development is with the transport of the overburden, with the hauling out of the waste rocks by the automobile transport to the external heaps. The height of the benches is 12 metres.

The drilling and blasting works are used during the stripping of the overburden and on the extraction benches. The extracting works are performed by the excavators with the buckets of 11.5 cubic metres in capacity and by the loaders with the single (9 cubic metres) bucket. The automobile park is equipped with the diesel-electric dump trucks with the load carrying capacities of 109 and 154 tonnes. The technological plan of the benefication includes the single-stage crushing of the ore in the open loop down to the largeness of 230 millimetres in the gyratory crusher with the size of the loading hole of 1370 millimetres.

The ore is ground during the two stages: at the first stage in the six autogenous mills, at the second stage in the three ball mills. After the grinding, the ore is subjected to the flotation in order to produce the collective copper-molybdenum concentrate, with its following selection. After the double regrinding and eight recleanings of the rough molybdenum concentrate, it goes through the stages of condensation, filtration, and drying. The processed concentrate contains 42% of Mo. The chamber product of the main molybdenum flotation is the copper concentrate with the content of Cu of 23-25%. The productive capacity of the beneficiation plant is 38 thousand tonnes of ore per day. The consumption of the fresh water at the plant is 45 thousand litres per minute. The water comes from the Alice Lake, which is located 20 kilometres from the factory. The electrical power supply is from the electrical power plant of the Strathcona city.