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PLANNING OF COPPER MINES OPERATED WITH IN SITU RECOVERY: DEVELOPMENTS AND CHALLENGES

Por: Jorge Parisuaña Ccapa, Vortex Mining Consultants.


Abstract

This paper aims to develop a conceptual model of mine planning through the method In Situ Recovery (ISR); for this purpose, a brief description of the industry challenges for the coming decades will be made, which are the basis for developing this technology, then some background of the development of ISR technology will be mentioned, and then a description of the process will be made.

We will then mention the main developments of ISR, mainly those occurred in the state of Arizona, USA, then we will develop the main concepts that make up the ISR mine planning model, starting with the hydrogeological characterization of the deposit, where we will describe items such as rock mass fracture characteristics, porosity, hydraulic conductivity, areal sweep efficiency, hydraulic control, and net extraction of groundwater, to finally obtain a conceptual hydrogeological model. 

Following the description of planning model components, we will discuss well design, copper extraction forecasts, copper extraction sequence, number of operational wells, PLS solution flow ratios, hydraulic control of flow ratios and control of rinsing solution flow ratios.

Finally, we will mention the main equipment to be used, as well as a description of the main advantages and opportunities to improve the ISR method, and then we will present the main conclusions.

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