MONGOLYN Alt (MAK) has awarded a contract for supply of engineering, procurement and site construction services for the Tsagaan Suvarga copper-molybdenum concentrator project to FLSmidth. Orders worth approximately US$43 million have been received by FLSmidth.

The greenfield plant with daily ore capacity of 40,000 tonnes, will be in the central part of the South Gobi porphyry copper belt in southeast Mongolia. FLSmidth is supplying the main process technology for the project under a separate, previously-awarded contract.

MAK is the third largest company in Mongolia with diverse business activities, including coal and gold mining operations. This will be the group’s first copper concentrator.

Tsagaan Suvarga is in Mandakh soum, Dornogovi aimag, 560km southeast of Ulaanbaatar, 220km from the Trans Mongolian Railway at Sainshand and 280km from Choir. Total proven reserves are 250 million tonnes of primary sulphide ore equivalent to 1.6 million tonnes of copper and 66,000 tonnes of molybdenum. The property also has 16 million tonnes of oxide ore sitting as a cap over the sulphide ores.

MAK funded detailed exploration and additional drilling from 2001-2008 and prepared an NI 43-101 compliant geological report in 2006-07. A JORC-compliant resources/reserves estimate was prepared by Micromine Consulting in 2008 and a pre-feasibility study undertaken by Aker Solutions, P&E Mining Consultants and Golder Associates in 2006-08.

A bankable feasibility study and basic engineering design was completed by Polysius Australia, SNC Lavalin, Coffey Mining and Bateman International in 2008-11 while a detailed social and environmental impact assessment was completed by JEMR in 2011. That year also saw a contract signed for the purchase of main processing equipment with FLSmidth Salt Lake City.

An EPCM contract was signed with WorleyParsons in 2012 along with a transportation contract for the main processing equipment and materials with Panalpina. The open pit mine started operations later that year with an offtake framework agreement for copper concentrate signed in 2013.

The annual production capacity of the open pit is 14.6 million tonnes with 14.4 million tonnes of overburden removal. At its full capacity the mine will employ 300 workers. Heavy duty mining equipment is applied for mining operations, including 220 tonne Belaz trucks, Bucyrus shovels with electric and diesel engines, Caterpillar front-end loaders, motor graders and bulldozers, and Atlas Copco and Sandvik blast hole drill machines.

Foundation concrete works for the processing plant started in 2012. The plant will have an annual capacity of 14.6 million tonnes of sulphide ores, producing 316,000 tonnes of copper concentrates and 4400 tonnes of molybdenum concentrates. It is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2015.

“We are happy to receive a third major order from MAK for the Tsagaan Suvarga copper-molybdenum concentrator project. It confirms our strategy of working closer with our customers, providing the support and services they need as a key to developing long-term partnerships,” FLSmidth Mineral Processing Division president Peter Flanagan says.