Operated by Grupo México, one of the world’s major copper producers, the ESDE III SX-EW plant in Buenavista, Mexico is the world’s largest SX plant. Having previously manufactured similar SX-EW equipment for other Grupo Mexico projects in the region, Outotec was the natural choice to supply the technology. Furthermore, Outotec’s solutions had proven to be capable of coping with the challenging process conditions at Buenavista during the testing phase. Seamless cooperation between the project partners ensured fast implementation and start-up, with the plant coming online in June 2014, just over two years after the contract was signed.
Maximizing ROI at Grupo México’s Buenavista ES DE III plant
Grupo México is one of the most important companies in Mexico, Peru, and the US, and is one of the world’s major copper producers. Founded over 70 years ago, the company has been listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange since 1978 and is one of the most traded stocks on the exchange. The companies that comprise Grupo México have shown particular interest in preserving the environment and the social and economic development of neighboring communities. The group currently operates 13 mines and has 13 ongoing exploration projects.
The group’s Buenavista plant is located close to the town of Cananea in northern Mexico. Prior to the ESDE III project, the Buenavista plant had two SX-EW plants, ESDE I and ESDE II, with a total annual copper cathode production capacity of 55,000 tons. In early 2012 the company decided to expand the plant’s capacity to produce copper cathodes via a leaching-SX-EW process. In April 2012 Grupo México signed a contract with Outotec for delivery of a copper SX-EW technology package for the ESDE III plant, with an annual copper cathode production capacity of 120,000 tons.