Teck QB2 Project Update
Teck Resources’ flagship Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 (QB2) project in northern Chile is now more than 50% complete, and first production is on track for the second half of 2022.
Teck said in a quarterly update at the end of April that overall progress at the QB2 project surpassed the half-way point in April, and that the pace of construction continues to trend upwards after a slowdown in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Teck considers QB2 to be a long-life, low-cost operation with major expansion potential. The company expects the mine to have low operating costs, an initial mine life of 28 years and significant potential for further growth.
QB2 is an important project to the Chilean mining industry and will provide another reason for suppliers to look at the Latin American Region given the positive longer-term outlook for copper. Check out the latest update video below.
QB2 Project Overview
- The Quebrada Blanca deposit is located in Chile’s Región de Tarapacá, approximately 165 km directly and 240 km by road southeast of the regional capital city of Iquique.
- The initial open pit mine at Quebrada Blanca (phase 1) was opened in 1994. The supergene ore is now depleted, and mining operations ceased in October 2018.
- Quebrada Blanca 2 is planned to exploit the hypogene mineralization below the supergene mineralization (or near surface deposit) that was mined in phase 1.
- QB2 will see the development of the deeper sulphide resource underlying the existing operation in an open pit with a maximum pit depth of 720 metres.
- The project has a 28-year mine life will use only 25% of total reserves and resources.
- Open pit mine with a maximum pit depth of 720 meters.
- Loading will be done by electric rope shovels paired with haul trucks.
- The operations at its peak will require a haulage fleet of 34 trucks.
- Finning and Caterpillar will provide the Command for Hauling system, 794AC Autonomous Haulage Technology (AHS) kits and ancillary kits to Teck’s QB2 operations to enable autonomous operations.
- Teck plans to use an integrated operations centre located in Santiago in the project.
- Processing of copper ore, including crushing, milling, bulk flotation, thickening and filtering will occur in a new concentrator plant with a production capacity of 140,000 tonnes-per-day.
- Mine tailings will be transported from the concentrator plant to the tailings facility.
- A facility capable of handling 140,000 tonnes of tailings per day that will be transported by gravity, where the tailings will be separated into fine and coarse fractions. The coarse sand fraction will be used for construction of the storage embankment, while the finer fraction will be deposited into the tailings impoundment.
- Utilities constructed to service QB2 will include the concentrate and desalinated water transport systems, high-voltage power lines and access roads.
- AES Gener to supply renewable power for its Quebrada Blanca Phase 2. Once effective, more than 50% of QB2’s total operating power needs will be from renewable sources.
Port Facilities and Desalination Plant
- QB2 will include the first large-scale use of desalinated seawater at a mining operation in the Tarapacá Region of Chile, in place of freshwater use. In addition, port facilities for loading mineral concentrate onto ships for transport to markets will be constructed.
- Teck Resources has commissioned water-treatment solutions provider IDE Technologies to design and supply a modular seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant
- The plant, to be located on the port side of the Tarapacá region site, will be Chile’s second largest seawater desalination facility.
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