Bowman Consulting Selected as Design Engineer for Major Upgrade to Copper Mine

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Bowman Consulting today announced it has been awarded a contract by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

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This award affirms our reputation for providing top quality engineering services and unparalleled client focus. Our office in Safford is uniquely qualified to perform this complex assignment and we look forward once again exceeding client expectations.

Bowman Consulting today announced it has been awarded a contract by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) to serve as the design engineer for a major upgrade to the ore processing facilities at its Safford, AZ copper mine.

“We are pleased to have been chosen by Freeport McMoRan as the engineers to perform this work,” said Gary Bowman, CEO of Bowman Consulting. “This award affirms our reputation for providing top quality engineering services and unparalleled client focus. Our office in Safford is uniquely qualified to perform this complex assignment and we look forward once again to exceeding client expectations.”

Freeport McMoRan’s Safford mine, located 170 miles east of Phoenix, is a mine‐for‐leach operation producing copper cathodes. The operation consists of two open pits feeding a crushing facility with a capacity of 103,000 metric tons per day. Once crushed, the ore is delivered to leach pads by a series of overland and portable conveyors. Leach solutions then feed an on-site solution extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) facility. Freeport McMoRan also uses a sulfur burner at the Safford mine, thus providing a cost‐effective source of sulfuric acid used in the SX/EW operations.

Freeport McMoRan is preparing both to transition the mine from oxide ores to sulfide ores and to upgrade production with a target of delivering 36,000 GPM of leaching solution to the leach pads by the second quarter of 2014. Sulfide ores require less acid in the leaching solution relative to oxide ores, but they also require additional oxygen, longer leach cycle times, and other modifications to the ore handling and SX/EW processes. To achieve the mandated production increases and prepare for the sulfide ores, Freeport selected Bowman Consulting to provide design and other pre-construction services in five areas:

  • Raffinate pumping/piping system upgrades
  • Raffinate instrumentation upgrades
  • Air injection system
  • Overland conveyor system
  • New settlers at the SX/EW facility

Freeport used both qualifications and budget-based selection criteria in awarding the design contract.

“Bowman’s relentless commitment to maintaining a competitive budget kept us in the running for the work against larger firms that also serve the mining industry,” said Troy Peterson, Bowman’s Regional Director for Western Operations. “What ultimately moved Freeport to select Bowman in this case were our local presence, local relationships and our proven track record of delivering on-time and on-budget for the mine. We will be using resources from our other offices around the country as needed to meet the demanding schedule and cost sensitivities of such a complex project.”

The schedule for the project is extremely aggressive. To meet this and other project deadlines, Bowman is mobilizing mechanical, electrical, structural, civil and process engineers along with designers and CADD support staff from its offices around the country. With the exception of the subcontracted geotechnical investigation, Bowman will perform all of its survey and engineering tasks under this project internally. Freeport will be augmenting its local project staff with project management and construction experts from its Phoenix corporate office to help ensure the project is delivered smoothly and on time. “This is a great project for Bowman,” added Peterson. “It is our first large-scale turn-key design project in the mining engineering sector but we anticipate it being the first of many as we grow our expertise and expand our footprint in mining.”

About Bowman Consulting
Bowman Consulting Group, Ltd. (http://www.bowmanconsulting.com) is a multidiscipline design firm with the singular mission of “delivering success to clients with a sense of urgency.” With 30 locations across the country, the company serves a broad array of industries including urban land development, transportation, water resources, oil and gas, and mining. Bowman has garnered numerous awards and recognition for growth, as well as for environmentally sensitive designs.

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