Tag Archives: lead

Telson Mining ready to experiment with metallurgical innovations at Campo Morado

Telson Mining, following a strong quarter of production from the Campo Morado mine, in Guerrero State, Mexico, is making plans to boost throughput and recoveries through the potential use of grinding, leaching and flotation technologies from the likes of Maelgwyn Mineral Services, Core Group and Glencore Technology.

The mine’s throughput averaged out at 58,100 t/mth in the March quarter, with total throughput for the quarter of 174,400 t being 4% higher than the December quarter. Some 11,013 t of zinc concentrate and 1,907 t of lead concentrate was produced over the period, compared with 9,974 t and 1,916 t, respectively, in the previous quarter.

Gold, silver, lead and zinc recoveries all improved, quarter-on-quarter, in the first three months of the year, the company added.

Ralph Shearing, Telson CEO and President, said: “These strong first quarter results continue to reflect our steady progression of improving the throughput and recoveries at Campo Morado. To this end, management intends to initiate a rigorous metallurgical testing program to advance through second phase testing the Leachox™ Process of Maelgwyn Mineral Services and the Albion Process™ of Core Group, both of which returned positive test results in first phase testing.”

He said this metallurgical testing program will also study the ability to increase base metal recoveries at microfine grinding with flotation recovery using Imhoflot Flotation (also Maelgwyn) and Jameson Cell (Glencore Technology) flotation technologies, both designed for such purposes.

“We are confident that additional recovery improvements are available utilising these exciting modern technologies which, if successful, can provide increased revenue streams,” Shearing added.

Maelgwyn’s Leachox Process consists of several Maelgwyn proprietary processes linked together including Imhoflot G-Cell flotation technology, ultra-fine grinding using the Ro-Star mill, Aachen Reactors and Aachen assisted cyanide destruction.

The Albion Process, meanwhile, is a combination of ultrafine grinding and oxidative leaching at atmospheric pressure. The feed to the Albion Process is refractory base or precious metal concentrates, where the sulphides in the feed are oxidised and liberated, allowing the target metals to be recovered by conventional means.

Rio Tinto Kennecott to recover tellurium from copper smelting

Rio Tinto is to construct a new plant that will recover tellurium, a critical mineral used in solar panels, from copper refining at its Kennecott mine near Salt Lake City, Utah.

The company is investing $2.9 million to set up the plant, which will recover tellurium as a by-product of copper smelting, extracting a valuable mineral from waste streams. The plant will have a capacity to produce around 20 t/y of tellurium, the miner said.

Rio expects to begin production of tellurium in the December quarter of 2021, creating a new North American supply chain for the critical mineral.

Tellurium is an essential component of cadmium telluride, a semiconductor used to manufacture thin film photovoltaic solar panels. Thin films made of this compound can efficiently convert sunlight into electricity, according to the miner. Tellurium can also be used as an additive to steel and copper to improve machinability, making these metals easier to cut. It can also be added to lead to increase resistance to sulphuric acid, vibration and fatigue.

Rio Tinto Kennecott Managing Director, Gaby Poirier, said: “The minerals and metals we produce are essential to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. Adding tellurium to our product portfolio provides customers in North America with a secure and reliable source of tellurium produced at the highest environmental and labour standards with renewable energy. Rio Tinto is committed to using innovation to reduce waste in our production process and extract as much value as possible from the material that we mine and process.”

Utah Governor, Spencer Cox, said: “With abundant natural resources, Utah is ideally positioned to help supply the critical minerals essential to maintain American manufacturing competitiveness. Rio Tinto’s smelter at Kennecott is one of only two that is capable of producing copper and other critical minerals. The new tellurium plant is another valuable contribution to critical mineral independence and energy security in the US”

Along with producing almost 20% of US copper, Kennecott’s smelting process also recovers gold, silver, lead carbonate, platinum, palladium and selenium, while molybdenum is recovered from the Copperton concentrator. In total, nine products are currently recovered from the ore extracted at Kennecott.

Rio Tinto is a partner with the US Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) and works closely with CMI experts to discover further ways to economically recover critical mineral by-products such as rhenium, tellurium and lithium. The company is also investing in new facilities to extract battery-grade lithium from waste rock at its Boron, California mine site and high quality scandium oxide from waste streams at its metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec.

Galena signs up Contract Power for hybrid power gen facility at Abra JV

Abra Mining Pty Ltd, the joint venture company behind the Abra base metals project, has executed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Contract Power Australia that could see the construction and operation of a hybrid power generation facility made up of a natural gas and solar energy array at the Western Australia project.

Announcing the PPA, Galena Mining, which owns 77.28% of the project, said Contract Power will build, own and operate an integrated hybrid power generation facility combining a 10 MW natural gas fired power station, a 6 MW solar array, 2 MW of battery energy storage and a 900 Kl LNG storage and regasification facility.

Power will be purchased by Abra under the PPA for an initial term of 16-years (extendable), it said.

Galena Managing Director, Alex Molyneux, said: “We’re pleased to partner with Contract Power on a clean, cost-effective power solution for Abra. Integrating solar with relatively clean natural gas instead of diesel achieves a marked reduction in Abra’s carbon footprint compared to alternatives considered in the tender process.

“Pleasingly, the design also offered the most cost-effective solution, in line with our feasibility study estimates.”

This definitive feasibility study outlined development of a mine and processing facility with a 16-year life producing a high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate containing around 95,000 t/y of lead and 805,000 oz/y of silver after ramp-up.

A Western Australia-based company wholly-owned by Pacific Energy Ltd, Contract Power specialises in the design, construction and operation of remote power stations for the mining and government sectors.

Contract Power has operated power stations around Australia under turnkey build-own-operate arrangements since 1999, and recent projects include a 56 MW gas fired power station for Mineral Resources Ltd’s Wodgina lithium project, a 18 MW gas fired station for Capricorn Resources’ Karlawinda project and a 18 MW gas and diesel power station at Wiluna Mining Corp‘s Wiluna gold project.

Contract Power’s Managing Director, Leon Hodges, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Galena on this important project and look forward to rewarding their confidence by delivering a world-class hybrid power station.

“Contract Power’s combined LNG and renewables integration capability has allowed our design team to maximise solar penetration as high as the economics and technology allows, providing the Abra project with the highest reliability and lowest cost of power on an unsubsidised basis.”

The PPA remains subject to the condition of Abra Mining Pty Ltd proceeding to final investment decision for the project, Galena said.

Peel Mining’s South Cobar preliminary flowsheet to factor in ore sorting

Peel Mining says positive results from ore sorting test work at the Southern Nights and Mallee Bull deposits, part of its 100%-owned South Cobar Project, in western New South Wales, Australia, provide encouragement for the inclusion of this pre-concentration technology into future process plant design.

So encouraged by this testing is Peel that it has engaged GR Engineering to integrate ore sorting technology into an updated processing plant technical report for the project.

At the same time as this, Peel announced that GR Engineering had recently completed a preliminary process plant technical report for South Cobar that considers crushing, grinding, gravity, flotation and cyanidation process stages for the recovery of gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc from the various mineralisation styles within Peel’s deposits.

Meanwhile, the recently received positive preliminary ore sorting test work results from work undertaken on diamond drilling samples shows there is potential for improvements in the flowsheet.

The ore sorting test work, completed in conjunction with ongoing metallurgical studies, was undertaken by Steinert and TOMRA.

Steinert ’s test work on Southern Nights mineralisation demonstrated strong recovery and upgrade potential with two size range samples returning, on average, circa-93% Zn, circa-91% Pb, circa-91% Ag, circa-87% Cu and circa-82% Au recoveries to an average of circa-54% of the feed mass (circa-46% of feed mass rejection) increasing the lead and zinc grades by 61% and 64%, respectively.

TOMRA’s test work on Mallee Bull mineralisation achieved significant waste mass reductions while maintaining very high copper recoveries (≥95% for the higher-grade breccia copper and massive sulphide copper samples), the company said. A lower grade breccia copper sample upgraded from 0.59% Cu to 1.05% Cu with 77% Cu recovery and 56% mass rejection, it noted.

“Positive results from ore sorting at Southern Nights and Mallee Bull deposits provide encouragement for the inclusion of this pre-concentration technology into future process plant design and, as a result, Peel has engaged GR Engineering to integrate ore sorting technology into an updated processing plant technical report,” the company said.

Peel’s Executive Director of Mining, Jim Simpson, said: “The completion of the processing plant technical report by mineral processing solutions experts GR Engineering is a critical first step in understanding the potential composition of the milling infrastructure required for the company’s development plans.

“The detail presented in the report by GR is impressive and the report will form the basis for ongoing preliminary studies for the refinement and improvement of the processing plant design as new information comes to hand.

“We are also very pleased with the potential of ore sorting as part of any future South Cobar project hub’s processing route with initial test work pointing to the amenability of both Southern Nights and Mallee Bull mineralisation to separation using 3D-XRT ore-sorting technology, allowing for the simultaneous rejection of barren or waste material whilst retaining the bulk of contained metal, and in the process, upgrading the value of the ore.”

Simpson added: “Apart from reducing the overall feed mass by the rejection of waste at early stage, other benefits of ore sorting include potentially upgrading lower-grade mineralisation and reducing the size of the processing plant offering potentially reduced capital, power, water and tailings storage needs.”

Trevali Mining and Redpath plot Caribou zinc-lead mine restart plan

Trevali Mining has enlisted the help of Redpath Mining to restart its Caribou zinc-lead mine near Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada.

The mine has been on a care and maintenance program since March 2020 following a deterioration of the global zinc market and the continued challenges presented by COVID-19.

Armed with the implementation of several operational and commercial enhancements, as well as improved zinc market conditions, the company now expects to return to mining in early February, with first payable zinc production expected by the end of March.

Following ramp-up in 2021, the all-in sustaining cost (AISC) for Caribou is forecast to be between $0.84-$0.90/Ib of zinc in 2022. The AISC for 2021 is expected to be $0.91-$0.97/Ib.

This cost performance will be supported by a partnership with Redpath Mining as underground mining contractor at Caribou. Trevali says Redpath’s operational experience will help it safely and efficiently mine Caribou’s narrow mineralisation, with the company able to mobilise people and equipment quickly.

Also supporting the restart plan is the signing of a 21-month fixed pricing arrangement for a significant portion of the forecasted zinc production from the mine. Pursuant to existing offtake agreements, an affiliate of Glencore has agreed to purchase 115 Mib of payable zinc, which represents some 80% of the forecasted zinc production from Caribou, at an average price of $1.25/Ib.

These agreements are for the period from March 2021 to December 2022 and are in addition to Trevali’s existing hedging program, which covers the period from October 2020 to December 2021.

Trevali said it was also looking to enter into fixed-pricing arrangements for both lead and silver at meaningful levels of forecasted production from Caribou.

Production guidance for 2021 is estimated at between 60-65 Mib of payable zinc, 21-23 MIb of payable lead and 585,000-650,000 oz of payable silver. Zinc payable production is expected to increase to 72-77 MIb of payable zinc in 2022 as the mine receives the benefit of a full year of production.

During the initial 21-month operating period, Trevali says it will also continue to study metallurgical and operational opportunities to extend the current two-year mine plan, as well as other longer-term value enhancing initiatives in the Bathurst mining camp.

Ricus Grimbeek, Trevali’s President and CEO, said: “Our team has worked diligently to reduce the overall cost structure of the Caribou mine, and I am pleased that we are in a position to restart mine operations in a manner that we expect will generate positive cash flow.

“Our initial two-year plan includes several enhancements which are designed to improve the mine’s economics, including the involvement of a contracted mining operator and the entry into fixed-pricing arrangements for a significant portion of the mine’s forecasted production. We have benefited from the engagement of the provincial government, and with the recall of employees and the restart of production we look forward to being a more significant part of the New Brunswick economy.”

First Ore Mining and Metso Outotec strike thickening plant deal for Pavlovskoye

The First Ore Mining Company (FOMC), part of ARMZ Uranium Holding Co, says it has signed a cooperation agreement with Metso Outotec “underlining the parties’ interest in continuing their strategic partnership in the design, supply, installation, control and commissioning of the thickening plant for the Pavlovskoye field”.

The agreement waas signed by Igor Semenov (right), Executive Director, FOMC JSC, and Markku Teräsvasara (left), Vice President, Metso Outotec.

The Pavlovskoye polymetallic deposit on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago is the largest such deposit in Russia with 47.7 Mt of ore reserves (2.49 Mt f zinc, 549,000 t of lead and 1,194 t of silver), according to First Ore Mining.

The cooperation with Finland’s Outotec (since merged with Metso to make Metso Outotec) emerged more than a year ago on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which gave rise to an initial pact. Since that time, the company’s experts, together with Aker Arctic Technology, have elaborated a detailed draft design for the floating concentrator and set out a preliminary thickening flow chart and main equipment layout, First Ore Mining said.

In September, representatives from Metso Outotec visited the Pavlovskoye field. In the course of the field activities, the company examined the site for the planned thickening plant, tailings pond and infrastructure facilities, First Ore Mining said. It also acknowledged the ore samples were representative and could be used in testing.

The next stage within the partnership will include tests to be carried out at Metso Outotec Research Center in Pori, Finland. Once the work is completed and the final thickening flow chart is developed, Metso Outotec will present the guaranteed performance indicators and design values to ensure the plant’s productivity and the high quality of the concentrates and metal extraction for the ore types studied, FOMC said.

Semenov said: “I am confident that working together with Metso Outotec will significantly improve the thickening indicators for Pavlovskoye ores, which were obtained during the studies in the previous years. As a result, we will produce premium concentrates that are in demand in the global lead and zinc markets.”

Teräsvasara added: “Indeed, it is quite interesting to participate in the development of this unique project for processing minerals in the Russian Arctic. In addition to standard technological and economic matters, harsh weather conditions, lack of infrastructure, and high requirements to environmental safety in the vulnerable Arctic wildlife have made us search for the best available technologies to cover all these points.”

The Pavlovskoye project includes plans to build the northern-most mining and processing plant to produce lead and zinc concentrates, with First Ore Mining as the project operator.

MAG Silver and Fresnillo make processing leap at Juanicipio

Fresnillo and MAG Silver Corp’s Juanicipio silver-gold-lead-zinc project, in Mexico, has reached a major milestone, with development material from the project being processed at the Fresnillo beneficiation plant during the September quarter.

The joint venture, owned 56% by Fresnillo and 44% by MAG, saw 42,476 t processed during the quarter, with total production of 394,000 oz of silver, 610 oz of gold, 138 t of lead and 174 t of zinc, Fresnillo reported.

This first development material was processed through the nearby Fresnillo processing plant (100% owned by Fresnillo) with the lead (silver-rich) and zinc concentrates treated at market terms under offtake agreements with Met-Mex Peñoles, SA De CV in Torreón, Mexico, MAG said. The revenue from this production, net of processing and treatment costs, will be used by the joint venture to offset cash requirements of the initial project capital, according to MAG.

“This first production from Juanicipio is a major milestone for the company,” George Paspalas, MAG Silver’s President and CEO, said. “The successful processing of development material not only provides cash flow to offset capex, but further de-risks the project as it heads toward commercial production. We are looking forward to the first production stope coming online in Q4 (December quarter) 2020, and our potential to continue to produce cash whilst we complete the process plant construction.”

Fresnillo expects to process an average of 16,000 t/mth of mineralised material from the joint venture through its processing facility to mid-2021, at which time the Juanicipio beneficiation plant is scheduled for commissioning.

Development continues on site and the final preparation of the first production stope was concluded during the September quarter. Also during the quarter, progress was achieved on the construction of the Juanicipio processing plant.

South32 adds Cat AD63 to Cannington underground trucking fleet

Last month, Cat dealer Hastings Deering sent out the world’s first AD63 truck to South32’s Cannington silver-lead mine in Queensland, Australia.

With a 63 t payload, the AD63 is the largest underground truck in the Cat product line, and comes with best in class speed on grade, according to Hastings Deering.

Joe Russell, South32 Cannington Vice President Operations, told IM that since taking delivery of the articulated truck from Caterpillar, via Hastings Deering, the company had started work on tailoring the vehicle to the mine’s specific requirements.

“Once the truck enters full operation, it will replace an older vehicle in our fleet,” Russell said. “The AD63 will be used in conjunction with the rest of the underground trucking fleet to move material to various locations within the South32 Cannington mine site.”

Russell highlighted the vehicle’s Euro Stage V Cat C27 diesel engine when reflecting on the recent fleet addition.

“The AD63’s engine specifications will help us to further reduce emissions, resulting in good outcomes for the environment and underground air quality,” he said.

Released in April, the AD63 features a 5% increased payload and more torque for enhanced production capabilities compared with its predecessor, the AD60, Cat says.

Additional new features enhance operator ergonomics, maintenance access and safety, and data collection for machine health monitoring, according to the OEM.

South32’s Cannington underground mine produces about 3 Mt/y of ore.

Barminco wins 18-month, A$140 million contract extension at MMG’s Dugald River mine

Barminco has agreed the terms of a variation and extension to its development and production contract at MMG’s Dugald River zinc-lead mine, in north Queensland, Australia.

In addition to several amended contract conditions, the variation extends the term of the contract by 18 months to December 31, 2022, with two, one-year options to extend further. The value of the 18-month extension for Perenti’s hard-rock underground miner is approximately A$140 million ($103 million).

Barminco has been operating at Dugald River since 2012. IM recently reported MMG and Barminco were trialling an automated Sandvik LHD at the mine to further boost production.

Barminco’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Muller, said: “We are excited to continue our relationship with MMG, which began in 2001 at the Rosebery mine in Tasmania. Dugald River has been a significant project for Barminco since commencement during 2012, and this extension will take our valued relationship with MMG to over 20 years.”

Perenti Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Norwell, said Perenti had a “robust” tender pipeline of A$8.8 billion and its Underground Industry Sector Group had secured more the A$540 million in contract extensions this financial year.

Atlas Copco light towers illuminate JRC’s open-pit mining opportunities

Atlas Copco says Peru-based mining development, construction and infrastructure services business, JRC, has recently purchased six HiLight V5+ light towers to ensure continuous and efficient operations at the Iscaycruz zinc-lead mine in Oyón province.

Iscaycruz, owned by Empresa Minera Los Quenuales SA (majority owned by Glencore), is a polymetallic deposit with four mines in production: Limpe, Chupa, Tinyag 1 and Tinyag 2. Due to its altitude of 4,700-5,000 m above sea level, the mine is situated in one of the most challenging areas of Peru.

“The survival in this area is very hard, both for people and equipment: we worked with light towers from another manufacturer for a while and they did not work out,” Julio Tello, JRC Equipment Manager, said. “The three-cylinder engines shut down after two hours working and the lamps broke easily.”

The tough working conditions and the lack of having the right light tower for this project led to heavy losses for JRC, due to the impossibility of starting the night shift, according to Atlas Copco. To solve this issue, the company tested on site a HiLight V5+ light tower from Atlas Copco to ensure the unit was the right equipment for the project. After carrying out the test, JRC purchased six HiLight V5+ light towers to be used at Iscaycruz.

Atlas Copco’s HiLight V5+ light tower has been designed for the most demanding conditions, according to the company.

Featuring a HardHat® canopy as standard, which ensures maximum protection of internal parts, the design includes directional optic lenses that maximise practical light coverage while minimising dark spots. A single light tower has four LED floodlights each projecting 350 W of light and the HiLight H5+ can illuminate an area of up to 5,000 sq.m, providing an average brightness of 20 lux. The LED lamps offer users higher durability without any deterioration in lux level and have a life expectancy of more than 50,000 hours, according to Atlas Copco.

Additionally, the HiLight H5+ light tower offers low fuel consumption, offering a run time between refuelling of 260 hours and consumption of less than 0.5 litres/h of fuel.

“The acquisition of Atlas Copco’s HiLight V5+ light towers with two-cylinder engines changed the whole picture for us. It’s a solution that has been radical,” Tello said. “Until now, JRC’s expertise has been mainly in underground mining projects, however the operations at Iscaycruz is showing that we are the right fit for open-pit operations; that is why we are preparing seven mining projects in Peru and one in Mexico. The HiLight V5+ light towers are helping us to operate this type of project perfectly.”

Nelson Batistucci, Atlas Copco Business Line Manager for the Andean region, explains: “In order to deliver the right solution for our customers, we need to understand their needs well. In this case, considering the challenges of working at extreme altitude, as it is common for many of our mining customers in Peru, helped us choose the right light tower for JRC. At Atlas Copco, we are strongly committed to technological innovation and have a highly skilled team to analyse the challenges and provide the best solution for our customers.”