Mining & minerals overview

We dig beyond the normal depths.

With shifting market conditions, increased environmental controls and expectations, and other variables, clients need a partner with the experience and resources to design and manage every aspect of a project. Often located in remote locations and extreme environments, these operations require a deep understanding and expertise across a range of services.

Jacobs provides full project cycle capabilities to the mining, minerals, and iron and steel industries from locations worldwide. Adding value at every step, we work with our clients on project planning, feasibility/studies, engineering, procurement, construction, construction management, implementation, operations, decommissioning and closure, and mine infrastructure requirements.

Jacobs' global procurement strength and cost-estimating experience provide value to clients when securing necessary equipment and materials, even in remote locations. 

Some key areas of expertise:

  • Mineral Processing: crushing, milling, flotation, filtration, thickening
  • Hydrometallurgy: leaching, heap leaching, pressure oxidation, solvent extraction, ion-exchange
  • Bio-oxidation
  • Electrorefining and electrowinning
  • Pyrometallurgy: smelting, roasting, refining, calcining
  • Underground mining
  • Materials handling
  • Sulfuric acid technology
  • Value engineering
  • Risk analysis (HAZOP)
  • Global procurement 

Base metals

Mine-to-metal capability across a range of commodities.

Our clients are building and operating some of the world's most technically challenging projects in highly demanding environments.

Providing support across a wide range of capabilities, plant capacities and metal production, Jacobs delivers complete solutions to develop, expand and treat simple and complex ore bodies, including non-ferrous sulfide and oxide minerals such as copper, lead, zinc, and nickel.

Each project has its own unique set of challenges, whether it requires significant skilled construction resources, innovative materials handling and procurement strategies, or creative thinking around environmental management and sustainability requirements. Jacobs is always looking for ways to help its clients grow, expand, and innovate.

Base metals
Codelco (Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile), Radomiro Sulphide Mine, Calama, Chile
Base metals
Minera Chinalco Perú S.A., Toromocho Project, Perú
Base metals
Compañia Minera Dona Ines de Collahuasi, Collahuasi Project, Iquique, Tarapaca region, Chile
Base metals
Codelco (Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile), Radomiro Sulphide Mine, Calama, Chile
Base metals
Minera Chinalco Perú S.A., Toromocho Project, Perú
Base metals
Compañia Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi, Collahuasi Mine, Iquique, Tarapacá region, Chile

Globally, Jacobs provides its clients with pit to port capabilities, involving designing and developing the mine and port infrastructure, including the materials handling and processing of the ore. The latter includes copper and polymetallic concentrators; and a variety of smelting projects, from grassroots facilities to retrofitting existing smelters. Experience spans all major unit operations: gyratory, jaw and cone crushers; rod, ball, and tower mills; fully and semi-autogenous grinding mills; conventional and column flotation cells, thickeners, and filters.

Jacobs' nickel and cobalt project experience includes: ore beneficiation, concentrators, pressure acid leach (PAL), heap leaching, pressure oxidation (POX), sulfide precipitation, hydroxide precipitation, hydrogen reduction, Caron process, smelters, solvent extraction, and electrowinning plants.

Working across a range of lead production projects, Jacobs designs, builds, and commissions sinter plants, sulfuric acid plants, lead smelters, and lead refineries which use the latest systems to provide recovery of by-products.

Jacobs' project experience includes both the electrolytic zinc process and the imperial smelting process. We also help clients recover zinc from secondary sources such as lead blast furnace slag, zinc ashes, steel furnace dust, and calcine leach streams.

Precious metals

Flexible capacity – anywhere it's needed.

Solid Numbers

By integrating project teams into its clients' business, Jacobs truly aligns with their strategic priorities. Creative planning and new ways of designing and implementing facilities are becoming increasingly essential, as clients look to increase the productivity of their existing mining operations, or research and develop new long-life facilities.

Jacobs designs, constructs and commissions small to large capacity concentrators in the geographies where our clients need us. We help reduce plant area by utilizing large capacity equipment. We optimize process routes, and continuously search for cost-effective construction materials and techniques.

Jacobs delivers complete ore processing facilities, for precious metals projects including gold, silver, and platinum, across a wide range of plant capacities and metal production rates. Ores treated include both free milling and refractory (including roasting, pressure oxidation and bioxidation processes). Many recent gold projects for our clients have involved primary crushing followed by semi-autogenous grinding and ball milling. 


Newmont Mining Corporation, Boddington Gold Mine, Boddington, Australia, Credit: Tom Rovis-Hermann
Newmont Mining Corporation, Boddington Gold Mine, Boddington, Australia, Credit: Tom Rovis-Hermann
Newmont Mining Corporation, Boddington Gold Mine, Boddington, Australia, Credit: Tom Rovis-Hermann

Industrial minerals

Exceptional service through the life of a project.

Jacobs has developed a deep understanding and capability across the unit operations needed for the processing of potash, soda ash, phosphates, borates, mineral sands, and other evaporates.

A feasibility study may grow to technology implementation, detailed engineering, procurement, construction management, and infrastructure. As the complexity of the projects increase we draw on our minerals expertise, as well as experience in large industrial projects, to help clients execute their development and expansion plans.

Jacobs' services in the industrial minerals area include:

  • Material handling
  • Crushing/grinding
  • Thickening/classification
  • Carbonation/calcination
  • Leaching/filtration
  • Crystallization
  • Centrifuging
  • Drying
  • Product storage/loadout
  • Dust control
  • Process control systems
Industrial minerals
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden), Maaden Wa'ad Al Shammal Phosphate, Sirhan-Turaif region, Saudi Arabia
Industrial minerals
OCP Group, Jorf Lasfar Phosphate Hub, Morocco
Industrial minerals
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden), Maaden Wa'ad Al Shammal Phosphate, Sirhan-Turaif region, Saudi Arabia
Industrial minerals
OCP Group, Jorf Lasfar Phosphate Hub, Morocco
Industrial minerals
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden), Maaden Wa'ad Al Shammal Phosphate, Sirhan-Turaif region, Saudi Arabia
Industrial minerals
OCP Group, Jorf Lasfar Phosphate Hub, Morocco
Industrial minerals
Rio Tinto, Modified Direct Dissolving of Kernite Ore (MDDK) project, Boron, CA, USA
Industrial minerals
US Borax, Boric Acid expansion project, Boron, CA, USA

Other minerals and metals

Deep understanding of complex operations.

From uranium, molybdenum and magnesium, to oil sands, coal and rare earths, we constantly look for ways to help our clients grow. Our clients are building and operating a variety of logistically and technically complex projects, looking for new ways to grow in often challenging market and legislative environments. Jacobs' broad range of technical and project management skills have allowed us to support its clients wherever their projects are located.

Whether clients need help to assess the feasibility of a project, gain environmental approvals, design and manage the construction of the materials handling system, or close a mine, Jacobs is able to assist. In terms of processing plants, we can assist with a modular design solution, novel sustainable design improvements, or a sound procurement strategy. Jacobs provides full project cycle capabilities across a range of other minerals and metals facilities.

Other minerals and metals
Albian Sands Energy, Muskeg River Mine, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Other minerals and metals
Nexen and OPTI Canada Inc., Nexen Long Lake Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) Heavy Oil Facility, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Jacobs has a long history of working in all aspects of coal project development, with some of the most recent project experience being in Australia and South America.

Innovation plays a significant role in our plant design, ensuring consideration of what a plant will need to provide in the future without losing the important balance between capital cost and ongoing operational costs required for securing project viability. We were the first to use paste thickening technology in a new coal processing plant in Australia. Jacobs also designed and delivered materials handling, including in-pit crushing and conveying systems for coal projects that have successfully minimized long-term costs for clients and the carbon footprint of the mine.

Key areas of expertise in coal:

  • Full project cycle services
  • Coal processing
  • Crushing and screening
  • Conveying, weighing and feeding
  • Materials handling
  • Integrated infrastructure, including rail and port engineering
  • Environmental management
  • Water management
  • Geo science services

Jacobs' capability spans all major unit operations:  washing, grinding, leaching (both acid and alkali), solid liquid separation, drying, calcination, and U3O8 final recovery. We also help our clients with their uranium extraction technology needs.

Jacobs' experience with molybdenum includes: grinding, flotation, leaching (both acid and alkali), solid liquid separation, roasting, and recovery of both molybdenum trioxide and rhenium by hydrometallurgical means. We aim to listen to our clients needs and deliver solutions to meet their goals.

Supporting client needs in regard to their oil sands surface mining operations, Jacobs helps design and build a variety of facilities spanning extraction, reclamation and sustaining projects, as well as power and utilities, sulfur recovery, and gas processing. Our services range from singular technology studies, economic feasibility assessments, and front-end engineering through to full EPC/CM execution of multi-scale and multi-phase projects. Jacobs' strength in modular design and advanced construction techniques provide value to clients, particularly on projects in remote locations. Read more about our oil sands experience in our Oil and Gas section.

Jacobs designs, engineers and constructs process facilities for the extraction and purification of rare earth elements. These include new processing facilities and test work and piloting supervision of demonstration plants. Capability ranges from beneficiation, leaching, intermediate product recovery, and rare earth separation, to purification and reagent regeneration.