The extension of the mine life of the asset in Arizona is expected to result in the production of 2.5 billion pounds of copper


The approval for the Pinto Valley life of mine extension was given by the Tonto National Forest. (Credit: Łukasz Klepaczewski from Pixabay)

Capstone Mining has secured final approvals from the US Forest Service for a new mine plan of operations for the Pinto Valley copper mine in Arizona, US.

The plan, which was approved by the Tonto National Forest (TNF), extends the life of mine to 2039, said the Canadian base metals mining company.

Capstone Mining SVP and COO Brad Mercer said that the approval from the TNF took over five years.

According to the company, the extension of the mine life is expected to result in 2.5 billion pounds of copper. Besides, it will save nearly 700 jobs in Gila County and contribute to the economic activities of the area over the next 20 years.

The approval process from Tonto National Forest included a detailed assessment of technical data submitted by Pinto Valley Mining, the mine’s holding company as well as a consultation process with stakeholders.

Capstone Mining said that the plan paves the way for the continued operation of the Pinto Valley copper mine.

The plan includes additional environmental controls along with monitoring and mitigation measures for addressing possible environmental effects from the mining operations.

Capstone Mining president and CEO Darren Pylot said: “I would like to congratulate our Pinto Valley team on this significant permitting achievement which will translate into continued benefits for the community of Globe-Miami for decades to come.

“We recently completed a $31 million optimisation project which has increased productivity, decreased costs, and built a more resilient operation.”

The Canadian miner had acquired the Pinto Valley copper mine from BHP Billiton in 2013.

Earlier this year, the company wrapped up a $31m optimisation programme at the open-pit copper mine with an aim to drive higher throughput and higher recovery.

As part of the PV3 optimisation programme, the company replaced a ball mill and had upgraded tailings thickeners, while recommissioning the molybdenum plant.

Capstone Mining has been carrying out another study at the mine, called PV4, to assess its long-term growth potential of measured and indicated resources of more than 1.36 billion tonnes at 0.30% copper.