Torex Gold has provided an update on its innovative underground Muckahi mining concept, saying the first piece of equipment is due to be shipped to its ELG operating mine in Mexico before the end of the year.
Significant testing of the system, which was factored into the recent preliminary economic assessment on the Media Luna project, was expected to be completed by the end of 2019, the company said.
The Muckahi Mining System is an alternative to established underground mining processes and requires the use of a one-boom jumbo, service platform, mucking machine and tramming conveyor to create a more continuous mining process that can accelerate return on investment, according to Torex. It also significantly reduces the ventilation needs in underground mines by using conveyors as the main transport solution, playing into the mine electrification theme that is gaining traction.
Use of the MMS in the most recent PEA for Media Luna saw the after-tax IRR jump from 27% to 46%.
The key expected benefits of using the MMS over conventional means are:
- Continuous muck handling system and the elimination of re-handle and storage;
- All-electric operation and significant reduction in ventilation requirements;
- Ability to travel on ±30° (58%) slope and major reduction in both permanent and operating development;
- Ability for bi-direction travel in 4m x 4m tunnel.