Outotec has been awarded a contract by First Majestic Silver for the delivery of minerals processing technology for its mill optimisation projects at the San Dimas silver-gold mine and Santa Elena silver-gold mine, in Mexico.
The circa-€15 million ($16.3 million) order has been booked in Outotec’s 2020 March quarter order intake.
Outotec’s scope covers the design and delivery of an AG mill, counter current decantation thickener and a tailings filter for San Dimas, and thickeners and a tailings filter for Santa Elena. The deliveries are expected to take place in 2020 and 2021, it said.
Outotec previously delivered HIGmill® high-intensity grinding mills to First Majestic, with one of these going to the Santa Elena operation (pictured), where it has significantly improved the recovery of silver and gold.
Paul Sohlberg, Head of Outotec’s Minerals Processing business, said: “The energy efficient AG mill and environmentally sound thickeners and tailings filters will enable First Majestic to improve plant operations in a sustainable way.”
Back in January, First Majestic President & CEO, Keith Neumeyer, said the company’s 2020 focus remained on “adopting new innovation projects to modernise our processing plants to achieve higher recoveries, improve efficiencies and reduce operating costs”.
He added: “We have witnessed significant benefits from high-intensity grinding at our Santa Elena operation in 2019 and we plan to install the same technology at San Dimas in 2020.”
The company, at that point, said it expected to increase production at San Dimas by restarting mining operations at the past-producing Tayoltita mine by the end of the March quarter, expecting to ramp up production to 300 t/d by the end of 2020. The Tayoltita mine was the original mining area at San Dimas and known to contain higher silver grades.
It said a new 3,000 t/d HIGmill circuit and AG grinding mill would be installed in the second half of 2020 to further improve recoveries and reduce operating costs.
At Santa Elena, meanwhile, it said it planned to install an AG/SAG grinding mill by the end of the year, with a dual-circuit flowsheet implemented to separate the ultra-fine and coarse particles prior to leaching to further improve metallurgical recoveries and reduce energy costs.