January 10, 2005

Pilot plant will test copper extraction process developed by Teck Cominco affiliate

VANCOUVER, BC-A leading Brazilian mining firm, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) has announced plans to build an industrial-scale copper processing plant in order to test an environmentally sound copper extraction technology developed by Cominco Engineering Services Ltd (CESL), a mining research and development subsidiary of Vancouver-based Teck Cominco. The CESL process is designed to provide high overall recovery of copper from copper sulfide concentrates at low capital and operating costs. The hydrometallurgical process is based on pressure oxidation, followed by atmospheric leaching, solvent extraction and copper electrowinning. The innovative technique combines individual processes which are conventional for the copper industry (oxide ore) and for the zinc industry (atmospheric leaching). In addition to its environmental advantages, the CESL process offers technical and economical advantages such as the capacity to treat concentrates containing impurities, flexibility in terms of production scale and good byproduct recovery capability. "The agreement with CVRD is an important milestone in the development and commercialization of the CESL process," noted Doug Magoon, general manager, technology, for Teck Cominco. Detailed engineering will begin immediately for the plant, which is valued at $58-million (U.S.). Construction is projected to cost $58 million (U.S.) and should be completed by mid-2007. More information is available on the company Web sites, www.teckcominco.com, www.cesl.com and www.cvrd.com.br.
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