Tag Archives: Continental Gold

TERRATEC helps bring fresh air to Buriticá gold project

TERRATEC has celebrated the successful completion of a 300 m deep, 4.1 m diameter ventilation shaft at the Continental Gold-owned Buriticá gold project, in Colombia.

Peruvian mining contractor INCIMMET deployed a custom-built TR2000 Raise Boring Machine (RBM) to excavate the shaft in what TERRATEC said were challenging ground conditions. This put the machine through its paces during its first bore at the mine, the company said.

Located approximately two hours’ drive northwest of Medellin, Buriticá is a large high-grade gold deposit encompassing an area of about 75,000 ha in Antioquia. The mining complex, which is in the early stages of development, is Colombia’s first modern underground mine and was designated as a Project of National Strategic Interest by the Colombian government, in November 2015. When in production, it is expected to be Colombia’s largest gold mine, producing 253,000 oz/y of gold. First gold is expected by the end of the year, according to Continental.

TERRATEC said: “Arguably the biggest challenge for the mine development project is the area’s geology. Ground conditions at the Buriticá complex largely consist of andesite-porphyry, diorites and monzodiorites with intrusive hydrothermal gaps within the volcanic and sedimentary sequences. These mixed and fractured conditions provided a challenge both to the integrity of the reamer and the capability of this robust machine.”

Mineralised gaps, which are frequently associated with the development and alteration of clay minerals, required constant monitoring of the excavation and appropriate advance rates to provide good progress in this difficult terrain, according to the company.

“Not all raiseboring equipment is capable of working with such robustness in these conditions,” TERRATEC Regional Raiseboring Operations Manager, John Alejos, said. “Without doubt, this changing terrain is almost impossible to drill at such depths and such diameters. Only a team as strong as this, with the technical support of our on-site staff, is able to carry out such a task successfully and not without difficulties.”

Custom manufactured at TERRATEC’s workshop in Tasmania, Australia, the TR2000 RBM was designed for ease of operation and maintenance, while providing a high level of reliability. The unit is designed to “comfortably” execute raises of up to 500 m at 2.4 m diameter and larger ones up to 4.1 m diameter (of shorter depths), according to TERRATEC. It has a maximum pilot drilling torque of 42,000 Nm, a reaming torque of up to 209,000 Nm and breakout to 236,000 Nm. The maximum down thrust force is 665 kN with upthrust being 4,150 kN. The total installed power on the machine is 360 kW.

TERRATEC has numerous machines currently working in the Americas in Canada, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina. These include the company’s entire range of vertical mining drilling equipment, including RBMs, Down-Reaming Machines and Box Holing Rigs, as well as a combination of these in the form of Universal Boring Machines.

Continental Gold keeps Buriticá project on track for debut pour in H1 2020

The latest update from Continental Gold on its Buriticá project in north-western Antioquia, Colombia, indicates the company is on track to pour gold in the first half of 2020.

The company said overall construction was 44% complete, with detailed engineering over 93% advanced.

At the same time, underground development was tracking ahead of plan at 44% completion, with 6,274 m finished to date. Process plant earthworks were 76% finished and mechanical installation was scheduled to begin in early 2019, the company said, while powerline installation was advancing rapidly and set for completion early in the September quarter.

This all bodes well for commercial production ramp-up of Buriticá taking place six months after the first gold pour.

Since completing the feasibility study for the Buriticá project in 2016, the company has been optimising the mine design and rescheduling development. This work has resulted in a reduction in total pre-production lateral development (horizontal and inclined jumbo development) from 19 km in the feasibility study to 14.3 km in the current mine plan, a reduction of approximately 25%.

In terms of underground development, monthly advance rates have consistently exceeded planned development this year. Crews continue advancing daily at the Yaraguá and Veta Sur ramps and the Higabra tunnel and upper and lower drifts connecting the Yaraguá and Veta Sur vein areas are advancing well. Additionally, definition drilling continues to provide information required for stope design and mine production scheduling.

Drill chambers continue to be extracted proximal to planned stoping areas as development advances; monthly definition drilling has been and will continue to increase through the balance of the year and into 2019 as development accesses additional drilling areas, the company said.

The feasibility study for the Buriticá project highlighted the potential to host an economically robust, high-grade underground gold mine, which includes a mineral reserve for the combined Yaraguá and Veta Sur vein systems totalling 3.7 Moz of gold and 10.7 Moz of silver at grades of 8.4 g/t Au and 24.3 g/t Ag. When in production, it would be Colombia’s largest gold mine, producing 253,000 oz/y of the yellow metal.