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Red Dog is an open-pit mine using conventional truck-and-shovel methods with special provisions for

operating in the Arctic climate. High
grades, low stripping ratio (0.8:1) and short haul distances result in the low mining rate of 10,000t/d. Bench heights are 7.6m and pit slopes vary
depending on wall material.

Blasthole drilling involves Ingersoll-Rand and Drilltech rotary and in-hole drills with diameters of 90–165mm. ANFO is used in the drier areas of
the pit and packaged slurry in the wet areas. A small fleet of mainly Caterpillar equipment consists of three 9.9m³ loaders, five 77t haul trucks,
four dozers, two utility loaders, two graders and a water/sand truck.


Red Dog incorporates several new techniques: modular construction, tower mills, column cells and pressure filters. A primary gyratory crusher
and backup jaw crusher are sited at the exit from the pit. The ore is crushed to –150mm in the primary crusher. The mill grinding sequence
consists of Fuller SAG and ball mills, which reduce the ore to 80% –65µm for primary flotation. Tower mills regrind to Zn 80% –22µm and Pb
80% –19µm. Treated water is used in the grinding circuit to minimize metal ions that inhibit flotation performance.

Flotation is carried out in Maxwell cells, retro-fitted with Outokumpu mechanisms, and in CESL column cells supplied by Canadian Process
Technologies. On-stream analyzers, providing real-time assay information, control the flotation circuit. The result is a zinc concentrate at 55.2%
Zn, 3% Pb and 137g/t Ag and a lead concentrate at 56.1% Pb, 11.7% Zn and 435g/t Ag. The concentrates are dewatered using pressure filters.