Minera Centinela Built Molybdenum Plant to Add Production

molybdenum ores pictureMinera Centinela planned to build a molybdenum plant to recover this mineral present in its deposit for the first time, which will also add the production of molybdenum as a by-product of its current copper production.

“The entry into operation of this important project will allow us to reduce costs by about 10 cents per pound on average, as a result of the credit discount for by-products that will be provided by molybdenum production," explained Andrés Hevia, general manager of the company. 

The executive also explained that, once the new plant achieves its design capacity, the Company will achieve an annual production of more than 2,000t of fine molybdenum. Sentinel joins seven other operations that already produce this metal in Chile, including Minera Los Pelambres.

molybdenum ores picture

“The Sentinel Molybdenum Plant will allow us to take better advantage of the minerals that we are going to exploit during the next years in this deposit, those that have better molybdenum laws, it is a relevant contribution to control the costs of Sentinel and, in this way, contributes to enable the expansion of its operations "explained Iván Arriagada, Executive President of Antofagasta Minerals.

The works of this project began in 2015 with an investment amounting to US$125 million. The plant has a processing capacity of 2,700t per day of collective concentrate, producing a molybdenum concentrate with a law that is around 50%.

Currently, the project is in its ramp-up process, that is, the stage in which the asset enters a gradual increase in production, until reaching the maximum capacity for which it was designed.

For this reason, in 2019 Antofagasta Minerals expects to increase its production to close to 13,000 tons of fine molybdenum, which will help to strengthen Chile's position as the second largest producer of this metal in the world, which has shown a strong increase in its price during the last months.


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