Sentinel is a large $2.1 billion copper mine on the north-western end of the Zambian copper belt. It is owned by Kalumbila Minerals, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals Ltd.
The processing plant has a design throughput rate of ore of 55 mtpa. This equates to an annual production of approximately 300,000 tonnes of copper per annum.
Ore is mined in the Sentinel pit using large electric shovels and a combination of diesel and electric haulpaks; the latter being powered via a trolley system. From the crushing stations the ore is conveyed to the Milling area where four large Siemens wrap around mills (2 x 28MW SAG Mills and 2 x 22MW Ball Mills) are installed. The flotation area comprises five banks of flotation cells. The ore is then filtered and stockpiled in a dedicated concentrate handling facility before being trucked to the Smelter.
In addition to the processing facilities, a new 33kV substation connected to the Zesco grid was designed and built to provide power to the operations. The substation was connected into the grid via a new 33kV power line approximately 600kms in length.
As the mine is approximately 150km from Solwezi, the nearest Zambian town of consequence, a new township was designed and built and power reticulated to the town from the 33kV substation. Electrical distribution design to the housing, schools, shopping centres and other infrastructure including a light industrial park was completed.