Mantoverde is a heap leach-SX-EW plant that was commissioned in December 1995 at a production rate of 42,130 ton of copper per year and 5.4 million ton of ore per year. Since then, copper production has steadily been increased to a maximum of 61,000 ton in 2010.
In order to get these copper production and throughput rates, a number of changes have been introduced in the metallurgical parameters of the plant operation since the start up, among them particle size, heap height, acid addition distribution in curing and leaching solution and leach cycles. Most of the modifications have been implemented after carrying out extensive column test work programs.
The modifications implemented and the results obtained, as well as the test work programs carried out, are discussed in this paper.