Aktogay is a large scale, open pit mine with a remaining mine life of around 25 years (including the expansion project) at an average copper grade of 0.27% (oxide) and 0.33% (sulphide). Aktogay is forecast to produce about 100,000 t of copper from sulphide ore this year, increasing to over 170,000 t per year from 2022 to 2027 after the second concentrator commences operations. In more detail, the low risk expansion project will double sulphide ore capacity from 25 Mt to 50 Mt/y. It adds about 80,000 t of annual copper production from 2022-27 and about 60,000 t/y from 2028 onwards. It is on track for completion in 2021 as previously guided, with first production expected in late 2021.
In its full year 2020 results announced recently, KAZ Minerals says construction works at the Aktogay copper mine expansion project in Kazakhstan were affected by reduced staff availability in the first half of 2020, however, works progressed according to plan in the second half of the year as COVID-19 related restrictions were eased and the group’s testing and isolation measuresenabled shift changes to take place safely.
Looking at the Aktogay 2 plant equipment installation progress, construction of the primary gyratory crusher and conveyor, ore stockpile reclaim system, SAG and ball mills (with gearless drives) and flotation sections of the concentrator (Wemco cells) is complete and the focus is now on equipment installations, electrical and pipeline connections and testing. The new electrical supply for the second concentrator has been completed and energised. Construction work is continuing on the tailings thickeners and pump house, pebble crusher, HPGR and bagging plant. The new camp facilities are 75% complete.
Most of this equpiment has been supplied by FLSmidth, part of an >$100 million order first announced in February 2018. In addition to the mentioned equipment it included primary and regrind cyclones, belt feeders, a lime slaking plant, screens, and concentrate thickeners. thyssenkrupp supplied the HPGR, which is a 1,061 t/h POLYCOM 2 x 1,750 kW model similar to those delivered for Aktogay 1 in 2017 and Bozshakol in 2016. Prior to this expansion, FLSmidth has previously delivered three complete copper concentrators to KAZ Minerals; one in Aktogay in 2015 and two in Bozshakol, also in Kazakhstan, in 2014.