Chino Mine

Description: Chino is an open-pit copper mining complex.

Did you know? The historic Chino mine was among the first low-grade, open-pit copper mines in the world. During 2011, mining and milling activities were restarted at the Chino mine. Ramp up activities are continuing with annual production of approximately 250 million pounds of copper targeted in 2014.

Location: Hurley, New Mexico, 15 miles east of the historic mining community of Silver City.

Ores: The Chino mine is a porphyry copper deposit with adjacent copper skarn deposits. There is leachable oxide and secondary sulfide mineralization, and millable primary sulfide mineralization. The predominant oxide copper minerals are chrysocolla and azurite. Chalcocite is the most important secondary copper sulfide mineral, and chalcopyrite and molybdenite the dominant primary sulfides.

Processes and facilities: The Chino operation includes a 36,000 metric ton-per-day concentrator that produces copper and molybdenum concentrates, and a solution extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) facility that produces copper cathode from solution generated by run-of-mine leaching.

Background: Originally mined by Native Americans and later by Spaniards. The open-pit mine began production in 1910. The original concentrator went into operation in 1911, but was replaced by a new facility in 1982. A smelter was commissioned in 1939 and was modernized in 1985 to increase capacity and achieve compliance with the Clean Air Act. In 2005, the smelter was permanently closed.

Ownership: 100%.