The Cerro Verde Production Unit Expansion is considered not only world-class, but is also the largest one-time built copper concentrator on the planet. Fluor, having successfully designed and built the original, 108,000 tpd Cerro Verde C1 (debottlenecked to 120,000 tpd) copper/molybdenum concentrator in 2007, was selected to provide engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCM) and commissioning services for the new concentrator as well. The original concentrator design included the use of High Pressure Grinding Rolls (HPGRs) for tertiary comminution, which was the first base metal concentrator to utilize HPGR technology.
The 240,000 tpd Cerro Verde Production Unit Expansion concentrator design is based on conventional copper sulfide flotation unit operations, replicating the C1 process but includes larger process equipment at a separate location on the mine property. The mine is an open-pit copper and molybdenum complex near Arequipa, in southern Peru. The porphyry copper deposit has oxide, primary and secondary sulfide mineralization.
Project infrastructure, designed by others, included a new fresh water pumping/pipeline system; a waste water treatment plant for raw sewage collected from the surrounding communities of Arequipa; a new 500kV-220kV substation and 220kV transmission line; and the tailing handling/distribution and tailing water recovery systems. Cerro Verde also developed as part of the expansion a new leaching pad and the relocation and enhancement of certain other infrastructure.