Tucumã Project - Geochemistry continuity and water quality modelling

To aid in the advancement towards operations, EMM has provided critical services to reduce costs associated with waste management and significantly reduced risks associated with long term waste storage.

Ero Copper Corp. | 40 km southwest of the town of Tucumã in the Pará State, Brazil

Project overview
Key activities included waste characterization, identification and support for waste management alternatives, modelling and support of water management, water treatment plant sizing and predictive modelling to meet water quality discharge limits for various water management scenarios.

The results of an optimized feasibility study were announced in September 2021 and the project was advanced by an early works program in 2022. The project is expected to add 326 thousand tonnes of recovered copper over an initial mine life of 12 years. EMM worked with Ero Copper, SRK, Geostratum, Nurizon, and ECM to advance various aspects of the project including processing water resiliency, waste storage optimization, and reducing costs associated with major capital projects. EMM continues to consult with Ero Copper on an as-needed basis.

Our involvement
EMM administered analytical programs, provided QA/QC support to assess and verify results, catalogued and interpreted results for materials characterization, developed geochemical source term models and integrated those models in a broader site wide water balance and water quality model, interpreted results and advised our client of efficiency gains and opportunities to reduce risk across the operations.

EMM consulted with other parties, in various aspects such as trade-off study review, technical review and collaboration to advance specific interests such as ARD mitigation techniques (and geochemical waste stabilization) and engaging with stakeholders such as Ero Copper’s environmental groups to ensure appropriate water quality considerations were met and adhered to for planning purposes.

EMM engaged with discipline experts in Geotechnical engineering, metallurgy, process engineers and coordinated various considerations in the advancement of resiliency studies, and considered all relevant stakeholders in communications. EMM worked to reduce costs associated with long term waste management, optimized water treatment sizing based on climate variability and potentially changing source terms, addressed environmental considerations and external stakeholders (i.e., down-stream users), and employed global best practice such as ICMM’s catchment specific approach to water management. EMM employed local water quality guidelines (CONOMA Resolution 357 and 430) for the purposes of assessing discharge and effluent discharge respectively.

EMM constructed a fully integrated water balance and water quality model for the purposes of assessing site water balance, process plant water availability and resiliency, contact water capture and management and consideration of water quantity/quality requiring capture and treatment to meet discharge criteria. The model was also used to optimize water treatment plant sizing and contact water attenuation.

Technical solutions
  • Geochemistry
  • Mine Planning
  • Water Modelling
  • Waste Management