Fluor completed initial study work on the project in 2010 for a 91.2 ktpd copper concentrator. It has since been reconfigured to a nominal ore-processing rate of 127.5 ktpd to provide more robust economic returns. As engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) contractor, Fluor is currently completing the 127.5 ktpd feasibility study.
The primary crusher will be located adjacent to the pit in the Quellaveco valley, from where ore will be conveyed to a coarse ore stockpile in the adjacent Papujune valley. Below this stockpile, a twin coarse ore reclaim tunnel will feed two SAG mills for primary grinding and two ball mills for secondary grinding. Flotation circuits will produce two separate copper and molybdenum concentrates for transportation and sale.
Currently, the Fluor team is leading construction management for early site works, including an 7.6-kilometer diversion tunnel for the Asana river, one of four tunnels totaling 13 kilometers (8 miles) in length. Three significant dams in height from 40 meters to 85 meters (131 to 279 feet) at high altitude have been constructed to support future processing operations along with several storage ponds to provide construction water. A main access road from Moquegua to the project site (2 hour one-way route) is complete.
Four separate construction camps are being built to house 8,400 workers onsite. Fluor is providing the life support services and logistics to care for the site personnel. With respect to the remote mountain access and high altitude work conditions, the Quellaveco project recently achieved 5 million work safe hours without a lost time incident in October 2015, which is a notable accomplishment given the large earthwork, tunneling excavation, and harsh desert environment.
The majority of work takes place at an elevation of 3,000 meters (9,842 ft.) above sea level. Fluor will pre-assemble certain structures to improve safety and quality by increasing the amount of work in a controlled environment at lower elevations.