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MEI Online: Hydrometallurgy: Latest News: December 18th 2003


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:: Teck Cominco Strikes Deal with Brazilian Miner CVRD on New Copper Technology  

A division of Teck Cominco Ltd. has struck a deal with Brazilian mining giant Comphania Vale do Rio Doce to operate a pilot plant using new technology to extract more metal from copper ore.

Cominco Engineering Services Ltd. will operate the plant through next February and will use ore from the Latin American miner's Alemao and Salobo properties in Brazil, Teck Cominco said in a release Tuesday. In addition, the Brazilian company known as CVRD has commissioned an independent engineering company to produce a feasibility study for a 10,000 tonne a year prototype plant using the new technology. Construction of the prototype plant is expected to be completed in mid-2006 and lead to full-scale commercial operations using the Cominco Engineering process.

"The agreement with CVRD is an important milestone in the development and commercialization of the (Cominco Engineering) process," said David Thompson, chief executive of Teck Cominco, one of Canada's biggest base metals miners.

"The prototype plant will provide an opportunity to scale up the CESL process to larger volumes and demonstrate the commercial viability of this important new technology."

The so-called CESL technology uses high-pressure jets of acid to leach copper metal from ore in a process that provides very high overall recovery of copper.




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