Chile

El Teniente Mine

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StatusActive
Commodities
  • Copper
  • Molybdenum
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Sulphuric acid
Mining Method
  • Block caving
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SnapshotEl Teniente is the largest underground copper deposit in the world.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Codelco Corp. (operator) 100 % Indirect
Codelco Corp. develops business in seven mining divisions: Chuquicamata, Minister Hales, Radomiro Tomic, Gabriela Mistral, Salvador, Andina and El Teniente, in addition to the Ventanas Refinery.

The deposits and plants belong to the State of Chile, which grants company the power to exploit and manage them.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Porphyry
  • Breccia pipe / Stockwork

Summary:

The El Teniente deposit is a porphyry-type ore body. The deposit covers a vertical span of over 1,500 meters. A tabular subvertical dacite porphyry intrusion two kilometers long by 200 meters wide is well exposed in the northern part of the deposit, and a quartz-diorite stock is located at the southeast side. Wall rock are mostly andesites, which are strongly mineralized, containing a high concentration of chalcopyrite and bornite. The size of the deposit is at least three kilometers north-south and close to one kilometer wide.

Chile’s El Teniente deposit is the largest known porphyry Cu-Mo orebody (>70 Mt Cu), and is genetically related to Late Miocene–Early Pliocene igneous activity on the western slopes of the Andean Cordillera (cf. Howell and Molloy, 1960, Camus, 1975, Cuadra, 1986, Skewes and Stern, 1995). The deposit is 2700 m long by 1000 to 1700 m wide and is elongated in a N-S direction, with a recognized vertical extent of about 1800 m. Approximately 80% of the copper at El Teniente is distributed within a stockwork of mineralized veinlets and minor hydrothermal breccias within pervasively altered andesites, basalts and gabbros that are part of the Upper Miocene country rocks. Two intrusive bodies occur within the deposit, the Sewell Diorite (actually a tonalite) in the southeast part of the orebody and the dacitic Teniente Porphyry in its northern part. The Teniente Porphyry occurs as a north-south trending dike 1500 m long and 200 m wide. Minor quartz-diorite or tonalite intrusions known as the Central Diorite and the Northern Diorite occur along the eastern side of the deposit. Hydrothermal breccias commonly occur along the contacts of intrusive bodies with the country rocks. The Braden Breccia is a conspicuous diatreme in the center of the deposit that forms a pipe 1200 m in diameter at the surface, narrowing to 600 m at a depth of 1800 m. The Braden diatreme pipe is poorly mineralized (~0.3% Cu), but it is surrounded by the copper-rich Marginal Breccia, a discontinuous rim of tourmalinematrix hydrothermal breccia.

Latite dikes intrude El Teniente, some forming altered ring dikes that encircle the Braden breccia pipe. After mineralization had ceased, the southern section of the deposit was cut by a 3.8 ± 0.3 Ma lamprophyre dyke, marking the end of igneous activity (Cuadra, 1986). Biotitedominated K-silicate alteration is widespread within the orebody. In contrast, pervasive phyllic alteration is restricted to ‘diorite’ intrusions, and to the Braden and Marginal breccias. Phyllic alteration primarily occurs as quartz-sericite haloes of quartz–sulfidesulfate veinlets within the perimeter of the orebody, and slightly overprints potassic alteration. Propylitic alteration occurs largely peripheral to ore-grade rock. The relatively restricted development of phyllic alteration and the occurrence of the central breccia conflict with the classic porphyry copper model of Lowell and Gilbert (1970), but El Teniente may be regarded as a “variation on a theme” of the classic model, as suggested by Gustafson and Hunt (1975).

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnits202320222021202020192018201720162015
Copper Metal t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe459,744465,040464,328475,339471,157
Gold Metal kg  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe746822823945853
Silver Metal kg  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe89,12596,61496,664103,788102,709
Sulphuric acid t  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe1,050,8831,178,7001,214,9411,191,9931,182,518

Operational metrics

Metrics202220212020201920182017
Daily processing capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Ore tonnes mined  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe52,006 kdmt52,454 kdmt50,812 kdmt
Daily mining capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe
Annual production capacity  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe

Production Costs

CommodityUnits20212020201920182017
C1 cash costs Copper USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 1.01 / lb   1.07 / lb   1.14 / lb  

Financials

Units2023202220212020201920182017
Revenue M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 2,801   3,035   3,412  
Gross profit M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 1,105   1,290   1,348  
Pre-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 657   692.3   692  
After-tax Income M USD  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe  ....  Subscribe 177.6   215.9   234.9  

Heavy Mobile Equipment

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EV - Electric
AV - Autonomous

Personnel

Mine Management

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Aerial view:

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