Commodity  Copper and Molybdenum
 Technology  Advanced process control system
 Application  Tailings thickeners
 Study type Customer story
 Country  Chile

The mine is located 1700 m above sea level in an area of water scarcity. Seawater is supplied from the water-cooling system of a coastal thermoelectric power plant via a 143 km pipeline. It is an expensive undertaking – and likely to become more so. The mine is thus committed to recovering as much water as possible. 

Implementation of the APC solution resulted in a: 


  • 14% reduction in water to tailings at a potential saving of USD 18 million per year.1  
  • 15% decrease in flocculant consumption at an OPEX saving of USD 350,000 per year.2 
  • 3% solids (w/w) increase in underflow density.  

As a result, the amount of water sent to tailings has been reduced by 5.1 million cubic meters per year, improving water sustainability in this water-stressed region. Pumping costs and associated energy consumption are also reduced.  

1. Based on average water cost of USD 3.50/m3.

2. Based on flocculant cost of USD 4.00/kg.

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