The Etoile mine, lies on the outskirts of Lubumbashi, about 10km away from the copper-cobalt plant at Usoke Avenue (in the industrial zone of Lubumbashi). All the ore mined at Etoile is transferred to the Usoke processing facility for further refining. The mine produced 1,524,710 tonnes of ore in 2011.
The Etoile orebody lies in the DRC-Zambian copper-belt, which extends from Luanshya in Zambia to Kolwezi in the DRC. Etoile is a stratiform copper-cobalt deposit. The form of the Etoile deposit resembles that of many of the near-surface oxide deposits of the southern Katanga region. There is an enlarged oxide cap some 50m in thickness overlying an inclined stratiform sulphide deposit.
The mine sequence is highly structurally disrupted, with extensive folding and thrust faulting. At depth, mineralisation is truncated by a steeply dipping fault, which is considered the boundary of the deposit. There is potential to establish a western continuation of the orebody.
The upper orebody is essentially an oxidised tabular zone of mineralisation that shows considerable supergene enrichment. This near-surface mineralisation is the focus of the current open pit. Underneath the oxide orebody is a moderately dipping sulphide orebody, as shown in the 3D picture above.
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