Chapada is an open pit copper-gold mine located 270 km northwest of Brasília in Goiás state, Brazil. The mine reached commercial production in 2007 and is an open pit truck and shovel operation, with ore being treated through a flotation plant with capacity of 22 Mt per annum. The Chapada mine plan has three open pit mining areas including Corpo and Corpo Sul, which are currently being mined, and the Suruca deposit that Yamana plans to develop in the future. The operations are expected to have a mine life of more than 20 years based on the 2016 Proven and Probable Reserve estimate of 559.5 Mt at a grade of 0.23% containing 3.2 billion pounds of copper (0.2 - 0.3 g/t AuEq cut-off). Exploration is ongoing to develop near mine targets at Suruca SW, Suruca NE, Baru and Interpits.
The Chapada mine processing plant is designed to treat sulphide ore at a nominal rate of 60,000 tpd. The plant incorporates a flotation process including primary crushing, semiautogenous grinding, secondary grinding, flotation, thickening, filtration and tailings disposal. Chapada produced approximately 127 million pounds of copper as well as 120,000 ounces of gold and 253,000 ounces of silver during 2017. Recoveries averaged 80% for copper and 55% for gold.
Exploration activities at Chapada have concentrated on increasing Mineral Reserves and Resources by testing near mine and district targets including Baru, Suruca and Buriti.
Commissioning of the cleaning circuit expansion project was planned for the fourth quarter of 2017. The primary objective is to improve gold and copper recovery by increasing the solution residency time during the flotation process.
Yamana has guided 120 million pounds of copper production from Chapada during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 years.