Description: El Abra is an open-pit copper mining complex.
Did you Know? We continue to evaluate a potential large-scale milling operation at El Abra to process additional sulfide material and to achieve higher recoveries. Exploration results in recent years at El Abra indicate a significant sulfide resource, which could potentially support a major mill project.
Location: 47 miles north of Calama, in Chile's El Loa province,
Ores: El Abra is a porphyry copper deposit that has sulfide and oxide mineralization. The predominant primary sulfide copper minerals are bornite and chalcopyrite. There is a minor amount of secondary sulfide mineralization as chalcocite. The oxide copper minerals are chrysocolla and pseudomalachite. There are lesser amounts of copper-bearing clays and tenorite.
Processes and facilities: The El Abra operation includes a solution extraction/electrowinning facility with a capacity of 500 million pounds of copper cathode per year, a 125,000 metric ton-per-day crushed leach circuit and a similar-sized run-of-mine leaching operation.
Background: Mining operations began in 1996.
Ownership: 51% FCX; 49% Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO)
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