To enhance its program known as the Minerals Availability System, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (BOM) selected CRA to be part of a research team that is to assemble geological, engineering, and cost data on the reserves, mines, mills, and post-mill processing facilities of foreign copper operations. Through both literature reviews and site visits, information was developed regarding the over 100 copper smelters, refineries, and other post-mill processing facilities that account for approximately 95 percent of Western-world capacity. CRA examined infrastructure data, variations in reserves based on high-grading potential, restrictions on full capacity utilization, sustaining/ expansion capital requirements for mines and mills over the next ten years, and project-specific financial data. The operating/ capital cost estimation methodology developed for post- mill processing techniques was flexible and generic enough to allow for easy technical modification and data updating by BOM in the future.
Research conducted for BOM of foreign copper operations