Çöpler Mine Site is an open pit operation located 8 km away from İliç District of Erzincan City, approximately 550 km east of Ankara in Middle Anatolia.

The Çöpler Mine is currently an open-pit, heap-leach operation that is producing gold from oxide ore. Open-pit mining at Çöpler is a typical drill, blast, load haul operation which is being undertaken by a Turkish contractor, Çiftay İnşaat Taahhüt Tic AŞ. The Çöpler plant has the capacity to process approximately 20,000 tonnes per day of oxide ore through its three-stage crushing circuit and parallel clay handling circuit. The product from both circuits is conveyed to agglomeration and then delivered to the heap-leach pad via a series of portable conveyors for stacking and leaching. The heap leach pad is underlain by an impermeable plastic liner on top of a layer of compacted clay. To extract the gold from the ore, a low-concentration cyanide solution is applied to the agglomerated ore on the leach pad using a low-pressure irrigation drip system. The heap-leach pad is constructed with 8 lifts, each approximately 8 meters high. The resulting gold-bearing solution is gravity fed to the carbon-in-column circuit, where gold is recovered from the solution. The barren solution is then recirculated to the heap with added cyanide. Dore bars are produced on site and transferred to third-party refineries for final recovery of gold and minor amounts of silver. Over the life of the current heap-leach project, approximately 76% of the gold contained in the oxide ore is expected to be recovered.

The Çöpler orebody also contains refractory sulfide ore that requires a different processing solution than heap-leaching to extract the gold. More information on Çöpler’s processing of the refractory sulfide ore is available under the Çöpler Sulfide Expansion Project link above.