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Industrial Sector



Antofagasta Minerals


3,000 meters above sea level, 175 kilometers southeast of the city of Antofagasta, II Region




Feasibility study, basic and detail engineering, 3D modeling, Capex, purchasing management, factory inspection and field engineering.

At the beginning of 2019, Compañía Minera Zaldívar copper mining, of the Antofagasta Minerals group (AMSA), selected Pares&Alvarez to develop the detailed  engineering and procurement management of the Cuprochlor®  Recovery Optimization project Secondary Sulfides. Previously, P&A Consulting had collaborated with AMSA’s corporate vice presidency in the feasibility study stage and basic engineering.

The project consisted of designing a brine preparation plant and modifying the plant infrastructure to introduce a leach process with high chlorine content, using the Cuprochlor® technology, which Antofagasta Minerals has been using for some years, allowing to improve the recovery of sulphide minerals that exist in the deposit and that are part of its base case. These sulfides, by the conventional leaching method in acidic medium, achieve an average recovery between the ranges of 50% to 55%; with this technology it is projected to reach values in ranges above 70%.

Pares&Alvarez, in the first part of the project, developed the basic engineering, through which the alternatives for the development of the modifications in the SX plant were defined. During this engineering, relevant technical aspects were deepened, such as: a systematic evaluation of materials of construction change, the modification of the solvent extraction process, and important optimizations of the civil works were carried out. The work was carried out by means of a 3D modeling, identification of interferences from a point cloud, managing to define more clearly the routes and the construction process of the project, which was mostly brownfield. Then, the project moved to the phase of detailed engineering, where the Pares &Alvarez engineering group focused on three areas of work: the addition of chlorides, the modification to the SX plant and the replacement of booster pumps. We worked on the advanced design process based on 3D/4D modeling and the incorporation into the design of maintainability, constructability and safety, which involved a coordinated work between the different engineering and architecture specialists.

Finally, the project included the management of the acquisition of all the procurement packages, including the technical inspection in the factory, and the realization of telematic engineering to support the construction team during the execution of the contracts associated with the different areas and subsystems that make up the project. The project is currently in the final stages of construction and forecasts a commissioning by the last quarter of 2021.