Tag Archives: First Majestic Silver

Condor Gold accelerates La India development with Metso Outotec SAG mill acquisition

Condor Gold has entered into an agreement to purchase a completely new Metso Outotec SAG mill package from First Majestic Silver to serve its La India project in Nicaragua.

The purchase consideration is around $6.5 million – made up of cash and shares – with the SAG mill representing a key item of the plant required to bring La India into production, Condor said.

The SAG mill is estimated by Metso Outotec’s technical support group to have a 2,300 t/d (800,000 t/y) throughput on a sustained basis, based on the metallurgical characteristics of the ore and mineralised material at La India. Based on internal technical studies and mining dilution studies conducted by SRK Consulting, initial production at La India is expected to be 80,000-100,000 oz/y of gold.

Condor says the SAG mill and parts are 90% ready to be shipped. The 2,300 t/d capacity forms “Stage 1 of production”, with capacity to be expanded materially after two to three years of production. Its delivery reduces the order time of this key long lead item by 12 months, fast tracking La India project into production. Condor said there is the possibility of increasing throughput by 22% to 2,850 t/d by installing a 4,100 kW motor (currently a 3,330 kW motor).

Mark Child, Chairman and CEO, said: “The key message is Condor has purchased and sized the mill at 2,300 t/d, significantly shortened the mill delivery time, set a trajectory for detailed project design and an accelerated path to production. What’s more, Condor has acquired a state-of-the-art, complete new SAG mill package with warrantees, manufactured and supplied by Metso Outotec, the premier manufacturer of grinding mills and entire grinding systems for the global mining industry.”

Condor plans to commence gold production at La India in 24 months.

The SAG mill agreement has come about as First Majestic ordered a complete new SAG mill package, which, Condor says, is now superfluous to its requirements.

The SAG mill has a mill diameter of 24 ft (7.3 m) and an effective grinding length of 18.5 ft and a structural charge mass of 315 t, Condor Gold said. The structural design ball charge is 11% with a structural design load volume of 35%. Specific gravity of the material is 2.55. The structural steel liner mass is 240 t; however, with the use of lighter composite liners, the weight and corresponding power requirement can be reduced significantly to 120 t.

The complete SAG mill package manufactured and supplied by Metso Outotec includes:

  • Mill shell fabricated in 8 x 90° segments;
  • Mill heads cast in 4 x 90° segments with demountable trunnions;
  • Ductile ring gear and carbonized pinion shaft;
  • Pinion shaft assembly equipment;
  • Erection cradles;
  • Bracket, coupling and guard;
  • Pinion bearings-2-pad polymer hydrostatic bearings;
  • Transformer for the mill;
  • Gear unit, steel guard and fasteners;
  • Allen Bradley variable speed drive;
  • Allen Bradley PLC mill local panel;
  • 3,300 kW WEG SCIM (motor);
  • Bearing housing;
  • Torque limiter and hubs;
  • Complete feed assembly. ‘Rock box’ feed chute with replaceable steel wear liners;
  • Complete discharge assembly. Fabricated discharge cone (no trommel screen) with replaceable rubber wear liners;
  • Discharge trunnion liner with replaceable rubber wear liners;
  • Installation materials and some spares;
  • Trunnion bearing;
  • Hydraulic torque wrench kit;
  • Liner handler; and
  • Howard Marten lubrication systems (trunnion oil lube, reducer/pinion oil lube, gear spray grease lube).

It is assumed that a pebble crusher will be used in the comminution circuit to provide some additional grinding power and to manage critical size fraction material, Condor said. The SAG mill is equipped with a variable speed drive to allow the mill to operate between 1,500 t/d and 2,300 t/d. Furthermore, it is possible to increase the daily throughput by increasing the motor size, as previously indicated. The 22% boost in throughput could potentially allow gold production to increase by a similar amount, the company said.

The SRK 2017 Technical Report on La India outlined an overall process flowsheet based on a single stage SAG comminution and conventional carbon-in-leach circuit.

Seequent helps miners in COVID-19 era with remote geoscience software tools

Geoscience software company Seequent says it is accelerating the development of its cloud-based solution, Seequent Central, to enable organisations to continue work on critical, large-scale, earth, environment and renewable energy projects in the COVID-19 impacted environment.

Central works alongside Seequent’s other geoscience analysis, modelling and collaborative technologies, to contribute understanding to subsurface geoscience and engineering design solutions.

The cloud-based solution allows people in any location to visualise, track and manage geological models created for infrastructure and critical services projects, in a centralised, auditable environment, according to Seequent.

This means a wide range of stakeholders can readily access highly visual up-to-date information to manage risk and make better environmental and investment decisions, to progress projects, it said.

Seequent CEO, Shaun Maloney, said the company was working alongside customers to do everything it can to make it possible to meet the demands and operational challenges they may be facing in the current environment.

“In response to increased need and demand, we’re accelerating the development of Central to help our customers to continue to operate in interdependent and often remote work environments,” he said.

Seequent’s software is being used on hundreds of diverse projects across the globe, ranging from infrastructure projects including large-scale rail, road and tunnel projects across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific; renewable energy projects in the US, Finland, Iceland, Indonesia, Philippines and New Zealand; mining and exploration projects in North and South America, Africa and Australia; and environmental projects such as groundwater management in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

One of these projects is with Canada-based mining company First Majestic.

Focused on silver production in Mexico, First Majestic currently owns and operates the San Dimas silver-gold mine, the Santa Elena silver-gold mine and the La Encantada silver mine. The company is pursuing the development of its existing mineral property assets with industry practice modelling using Seequent’s solutions, according to the geoscience software company.

“First Majestic use Seequent’s Leapfrog Geo to develop a realistic presentation of the geology at each site (complex silver deposits with multiple veins), and Leapfrog Edge to aid resource estimation – and when geologic models are changed resource estimates also change dynamically,” Seequent says.

“Seequent Central allows the company to publish models and resource estimates – so they are immediately available to everyone from the mine geologists to management in real time.”

First Majestic Resource Geologist, David Rowe, says the company can now capture multiple resources across multiple mines.

“We can now get all cross-discipline experts together to review projects in one place, and I am notified when those reviews have happened,” he said. “This enables better access and collaboration for everyone.”

Outotec to deliver sustainable plant improvements at First Majestic Silver assets

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.