We have completed a project to expand mining and milling capacity at Morenci to process additional sulfide ores identified through exploratory drilling. Construction activities for the new Metcalf Mill and related facilities were recently completed with the hard work and dedication of our employees, as well as collaboration with consultants and technical teams. The commissioning, startup, completion and continued optimization of this expansion are the result of the collective effort to advance construction on the massive, expanded mill. Freeport-McMoRan employees from both North and South American mining operations brought their expertise in the areas of construction, engineering, mechanics, electricity and metallurgy among other technical services to the project. The collaboration was critical throughout the construction phase and continued to be a crucial component during the optimization and ramp-up phase of expansion.
This $1.6 billion* project targets incremental annual production of approximately 225 million pounds* of copper in 2014 through a milling rate increase from 50,000 metric tons of ore per day to 115,000 metric tons of ore per day, and mining rates from 635,000 metric tons per day to 815,000 metric tons per day.
* Amounts are net of Morenci’s 15 percent joint venture partner’s interest.