copper-cobalt
Feature image credit: Wikimedia

Cape Lambert Resources’ engineering study for a leaching plant at the Kipushi copper-cobalt tailings project in the DRC was recently completed.

Central Africa – The engineering study was undertaken following the excellent results achieved from a leach test work programme at the project, with recoveries of 90% for copper and 85% for cobalt being achieved from laboratory scale test work undertaken to date.

The copper-cobalt project is held by Soludo Lambert Mining SAS, which is a 50/50 joint venture arrangement with local entity Paragon Mining SARL and Cape Lambert.

The project involves the reprocessing of copper-cobalt tailings contained in the Kipushi Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) located near the town of Kipushi approximately 25 km from Lubumbash.

The tailings will be processed through a newly built 1 Mtpa acid leach plant, adjacent to the existing flotation plant, designed to produce a mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) product.

The leaching plant will produce an MHP product containing approximately 30-35% copper
and 8-14% cobalt at a rate of 7 560 tonnes of contained copper and 2 900 tonnes of contained cobalt per year.

The TSF is located on licence PER 12347 approximately 8 km from the process plant and
extends over 1.2 km in length and over 400 m in width.

Based on the preliminary details delivered by Minnovo prior to the completion of the Engineering Study the board of Soludo Lambert made a decision to pursue construction of the leaching plant and appointed Minnovo in May 2018, to undertake the detailed design.

“I am very pleased that we pursued the leaching alternative to process the Kipushi tailings, as the recoveries for the leaching are far superior than achieved with the existing flotation plant,” comments Cape Lambert chairman, Tony Sage.

“Preliminary details from the Engineering Study provided the basis for the decision to build the plant, which will be done in earnest to capitalise on the current high price for cobalt,” he adds.