Sierra Gorda Sociedad Contractual Minera (SCM) has chosen Metso to supply control and on/off valves to the Sierra Gorda copper/molybdenum mining project which is currently under construction in the Atacama Desert in Antofagasta region, North of Chile. The valves will be used to control the flow of process and make-up water for a variety of applications in the mine.
The Atacama Desert is one of the driest regions on earth. Precipitation is extremely rare and there is no surface water at the project area. Therefore, the project will rely heavily on sea water delivered via a 350 kilometer long pipeline from the Pacific Ocean. To combat the highly corrosive effects of seawater, Metso will provide valves constructed of SMO254tm austenitic stainless steel, which is highly resistant to the effects of chlorides.
The Sierra Gorda mining facility is expected to process 110,000 tons per day (t/d) of mineral and its operations will begin late in 2014. The anticipated life of the project is 21 years and the equipment supplied has a 25-year life expectancy.