VANCOUVER, British Columbia COMINCO ENGINEERING SERVICES (CESL) has inked an agreement with Comphania Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) of Brazil to operate the CESL process pilot plant using ore from CVRD's Alemao and Solobo properties. The CESL process is a pressure leaching method for refining copper and/or nickel from sulphide concentrates. It is touted as having low capital and operating costs, and very high overall copper recovery rates, and being environmentally friendly. The campaign will run through February 2004.
CVRD has commissioned an independent engineering firm to study the feasibility of operating a 10,000-tonnes/year prototype plant. The prototype would be completed in mid-2006, and CESL is confident that the process will quickly be adapted to full-scale commercial production. Advantages of the CESL process are available at www.cesl.com.
"The agreement with CVRD is an important milestone in the development and commercialization of the CESL process," said David Thompson, CEO of Teck Cominco. "The prototype plant will provide an opportunity to scale up the CESL process to larger volumes and demonstrate the commercial viability of this important new technology."