Tag Archives: Peru

Anglo American and ENGIE agree on ‘green’ electricity supply for Quellaveco

Anglo American and ENGIE’s Peru-based subsidiary have signed an agreement to convert the current contracted energy supply for the Quellaveco copper project to 100% renewable sources, in addition to agreeing on another eight years of energy supply for the mine, starting in 2029, from “green energy” inputs.

The agreement will see Quellaveco, a copper project being developed by Anglo and Mitsubishi Corp, become the first mining operation to promote the construction of a non-conventional renewable energy plant, according to ENGIE.

As part of the pact, ENGIE Energía Perú has agreed to convert the total electricity supply for Quellaveco (187 MW) to 100% green energy, with 150 MW of supply over eight years from 2029 also coming from green energy sources.

ENGIE Energía Perú will source the renewable energy from its Punta Lomitas wind power plant, an in-development wind farm with a joint nominal capacity of 260 MW located in Ocucaje-Ica and a 60 km transmission line connecting the plant with the National Interconnected Electric System. The project has been granted a generation and transmission concession by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, and construction is expected to start in the second half of 2021, the company says.

Tom McCulley, CEO of Anglo American in Peru, said: “We are working from different areas to contribute to a healthy environment. Our goal is to transform the very nature of the industry to ensure a safer, cleaner and more sustainable future.

“By resorting to the use of higher precision technologies, such as those that Quellaveco will have, as well as by focusing on consuming less energy and less water, we will reduce our environmental footprint for every kilogram of copper that we produce, starting in 2022.”

Rik De Buyserie, CEO of ENGIE Energía Peru, added: “Thanks to the renewable energy certificates delivered by the Punta Lomitas Power Plant to supply the demand for the Quellaveco project, we are proud and committed to accompany our client Anglo American and mining in Peru, on their path to carbon neutrality.”

Quellaveco, owned 60% by Anglo and 40% by Mitsubishi Corp, comes with a production blueprint of 300,000 t/y of copper over the first 10 years of the mine, with first production expected in 2022.

Anglo’s Quellaveco to receive the coarse particle recovery treatment

Anglo American has approved the construction of a coarse particle recovery (CPR) plant at its in-development Quellaveco copper project in Peru.

The announcement came within the company’s 2020 financial results, which showed Anglo generated underlying EBITDA of $9.8 billion and a profit attributable to equity shareholders of $2.1 billion for the year.

CPR, Anglo says, is one of many significant breakthrough technology initiatives that has the potential to increase throughput and productivity, while simultaneously reducing environmental footprint, through rejection of coarse gangue (near-worthless waste material), dry stacking of sand waste, minimising the production of traditional tailings and reducing overall water consumption.

The CPR plant signoff at Quellaveco follows a full-scale demo plant installation at the company’s El Soldado mine in Chile – which is ramping up to full capacity by mid-2021 – and the decision to construct a full-scale system at the Mogalakwena North PGM concentrator in South Africa.

The El Soldado plant used the HydroFloat™ CPR technology from Eriez’s Flotation Division. Here, a single 5 m diameter HydroFloat cell, the largest in the world, treats 100% of mill throughput, with the objective of proving the waste rejection process at full scale.

Anglo said of the Quellaveco CPR plant: “This breakthrough technology will initially allow retreatment of coarse particles from flotation tailings to improve recoveries by circa-3% on average over the life of the mine. This investment will also enable future throughput expansion which will bring a reduction in energy and water consumption per unit of production.”

The capital expenditure of the CPR project is around $130 million, with commissioning of the new plant expected in 2022. DRA Global previously carried out a feasibility study for the CPR plant at Quellaveco.

In terms of Quellaveco project progress, Anglo said today that, despite the COVID-19-related slowdown, first production was still expected in 2022. This was, in part, due to the excellent progress achieved prior to the national lockdown, and based on optimised construction and commissioning plans, Anglo said.

Key activities in 2021 include the start of pre-stripping, which will see the first greenfield use of automated hauling technology in Peru; progressing construction of the primary crusher and ore transport conveyor tunnel to the plant; completion of the 95 km freshwater pipeline that will deliver water from the water source area to the Quellaveco site; completing installation of the shells and motors for both milling lines; and completion of the tailings starter dam.

The mine, owned 60% by Anglo and 40% by Mitsubishi Corp, comes with a production blueprint of 300,000 t/y over the first 10 years of the mine.

Hochschild’s Inmaculada set for ore sorting pilot plant

Hochschild says it has approved a $7 million budget to construct an ore sorting pilot plant at its Inmaculada gold mine in Peru in 2021.

The investment follows previous test work carried out with both TOMRA and Steinert. This saw the company conduct initial bulk testing in Germany with both companies and a 20-t pilot scale test with Steinert in Brazil.

The company also enlisted the help of Ausenco to carry out a prefeasibility study on applying ore sorting at Inmaculada.

In the company’s 2019 preliminary results presentation back in February, Ramón Barúa, Hochschild Mining Chief Financial Officer, said ore sorting could prove particularly useful at the Millet and Divina veins at Inmaculada.

He said, in addition to consulting with TOMRA, Steinert and Ausenco, the company had been working in-house to improve the sensors and the algorithm that separates the ore from the waste in these sorters, with the technology showing a clean separation between the quartz-based mineralisation and the andesite holding the rock at Inmaculada.

In its latest financial year results released today, Hochschild said of the ore sorting investment: “We believe this project may eventually deliver significant improvements in recoveries at the mine and potentially help to optimise other key projects in Hochschild’s portfolio.”

For 2020, the company recorded overall production of 289,293 oz of gold-equivalent at an all-in sustaining cost of $1,098/oz of gold equivalent. Inmaculada remained the cornerstone of the company, producing 176,086 oz of gold-equivalent.

Caterpillar microgrid hybrid power solution keeps Peru copper mine energised

Caterpillar dealer Ferreyros has been selected by Ferrenergy, Ferreycorp’s energy company in Peru, to provide a microgrid power system for the Agromin La Bonita underground copper mine in Acarí, Peru.

Supplied by Ferreyros to support a power purchase agreement between Ferrenergy and the operators of the Agromin La Bonita mine, the system includes more than 2,400 ground-mounted photovoltaic solar modules that supply a total of over 960 kW of energy, twelve 75 kW power inverters, a 1.5 MVA power transformer, and a 500 m medium-voltage transmission line. The solution helps to provide power around the clock for mine lighting and ventilation, ore processing, and workforce accommodations, according to Cat.

“Southern Peru features some of the highest photovoltaic power potential in the world, making it an ideal location for a solar microgrid system,” Bart Myers, General Manager for Caterpillar Large Electric Power Solutions, said. “The solution designed by Ferreyros for the Agromin La Bonita mine illustrates how Cat dealers combine technical expertise with a deep knowledge of their customers’ businesses to leverage renewable sources of energy while delivering reliable power for critical enterprise activities.”

Caterpillar’s hybrid energy solutions technology suite is designed to reduce fuel expenses, lower utility bills, decrease emissions, and reduce the total cost of ownership while increasing energy resiliency in even the most challenging environments, it says.

Key offerings include:

  • The Cat Microgrid Master Controller, which keeps loads continuously energised with high-quality power at low cost by managing the flow of power from every source in the system;
  • Cat Connect Remote Asset Monitoring, which provides data visualisation, reporting and alerts from anywhere in the world through a web interface;
  • Cat Bi-Directional Power (BDP) inverters, which supply real and reactive power with grid-forming and grid-following capabilities;
  • Cat Energy Storage System modules, which use advanced lithium-ion batteries with superior energy density, high discharge/recharge efficiency and high cycle life to compensate for fluctuations in output from renewable energy sources; and
  • Cat photovoltaic solar modules that deliver reliable and predictable output, robust performance, scalability, compatibility, and simplified installation.

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.”

AGQ Labs wins environmental monitoring contract with Minera Chinalco

AGQ Labs has won a contract to carry out environmental sample analysis services for Minera Chinalco Perú SA over the next three years.

Minera Chinalco owns the Toromocho open-pit copper mine in the Morococha district of Peru, situated 4,500 m above sea level. Toromocho will produce 1 Mt/y of copper concentrate, 10,000 t/y of molybdenum and 4 Moz/y of silver oxide, according to the company’s website.

Minera Chinalco is a subsidiary of Aluminum Corporation of China, the second largest alumina producer in the world and the third largest producer of primary aluminium.

The purpose of the AGQ Labs contract is to analyse environmental samples during the next three years in various environmental matrices, including:

  • Surface waters, in this matrix, will be determined in accordance with the environmental quality standards (ECAs), looking at, among other parameters, run of total metals, anions, cyanide, microbiological and hydrobiological, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile, organochlorine pesticides, phosphors, carbamates and polychlorinated biphenyls;
  • Groundwater, among other parameters, will be analysed for metals, anions, cyanides, COD, microbiological elements;
  • Domestic and industrial wastewater, in accordance with the applicable legislation for the sector, will be analysed for, among other parameters, metals, anions, cyanides, coliforms, etc;
  • Drinking water, complying with 100% of DS 031-2010.SA, will be looked at for microbiological and parasitological, organoleptic, volatile, semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides and alpha and beta radiation;
  • Air quality will be determined according to the applicable ECAs, among others PM10, PM2.5 particulate material, metals, gases and others;
  • Characterisation of soils – cover or top soil – where the study of agronomic characterisation, metal run, and others of relevance for the purpose will be made;
  • Soils and sediments, in order to verify compliance with the applicable ECAs, will be analysed for metal, hydrocarbons in the three fractions, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, and other elements;
  • For environmental geochemistry, an ABA Test, and others will be determined;
  • Characterisation of mining waste, applying the current standard in accordance with the EPA standard and others, for flammability, corrosivity, reactivity, toxicity and pathogenicity. According to the test results, a judgment will be issued about the associated risk; and
  • Environmental monitoring of air quality parameters, electromagnetic radiation and day and night environmental noise will be examined in accordance with current regulations.

In this sense, Minera Chinalco is entrusting to AGQ Labs a specialised service for the monitoring and analysis of environmental samples, according to its experience and national accreditation, the company said.

H-E Parts and Barrick extend maintenance relationship at Lagunas Norte

H-E Parts has helped Barrick Gold’s Lagunas Norte gold-silver miner in Peru improve maintenance and lower costs through the implementation of its Birrana™ mobile mining technology.

The US-based METS company has a long history of providing Barrick with global solutions to improve mine maintenance practice and, following a long partnership with its Pierina mine, Barrick’s Lagunas Norte operation engaged H-E Parts to provide a Komatsu 730E-7 wheel group repair program.

Located on the western flank of the Peruvian Andes at an elevation of 4,000 m above sea level, Lagunas Norte is an open-pit gold and silver mine within the Alto Chicama property. Barrick placed the mine on care and maintenance at the end of the September quarter.

H-E Parts said it put a maintenance regime in place and Lagunas Norte implemented the wheel groups.

This involved re-manufacturing the 730E-7 wheel groups, incorporating H-E Parts proprietary Birrana enhancements. This included the Birrana control fit wheel bearing system – which includes flexible spacer, hardened spacer, custom bearing design and specifications, and preload adjustment – and the Birrana brake wear gauge to allow for easy and fast brake wear measurement, reduced downtime, and improved safety.

“Once in production, Birrana enhanced wheel groups accomplished the required planned component replacement timeframes while also achieving a lower cost per operating hours,” the company said. “The product quality and service received by Barrick was expected with H-E Parts having previously supplied front and rear wheel groups for their fleet of Caterpillar 785D haul trucks operating at Barrick Pierina mine site.”

H-E Parts has now delivered over 40 wheel groups to Lagunas Norte.

“Unlike other service options available to Lagunas Norte, H-E Parts has the ability to provide major mobile component solutions across a range of equipment brands,” the company said. “This allows our customers a single maintenance solution for their mobile fleets, which is backed by decades of global experience and performance.”

AGQ Labs to keep environmental tabs on Glencore’s Contonga polymetallic mine

AGQ Labs’ mining division has been awarded a contract to carry out the environmental monitoring of the quality of soil, water, plant and hydrobiological tissue at Glencore’s Contonga polymetallic mine, in Peru.

The Contonga mine, in Ancash, is owned by Glencore subsidiary Compañía Minera Los Quenuales. It is a polymetallic underground zinc, lead, copper and silver mine with more than 100 years of operating history, according to AGQ Labs. Glencore acquired the asset from Nyrstar back in September 2017.

The mining company, as part of its environmental commitment at the mine, performs environmental monitoring of its components to determine their chemical stability and the potential for acid mine generation, as well as their characterisation through complementary studies, AGQ Labs said.

AGQ Labs Mining will provide the sampling service and technical analytical support through a specialised service for the characterisation of soils, waters and plant tissue. This uses selective analytical techniques for the characterisation of the matrices under study.

For this, AGQ Labs uses a set of tests to define the quality of the soils under study through fertility tests and characterisation of the profiles.

Mobilisation of the different analytes under study are also characterised through leaching tests such as methodologies proposed by Tessier and the Flask Extraction Test. The characterisation of its acid generation capacity with ABA methodologies and mineralogy analysis is carried out with Thin Sheet Microscopy.

AGQ Labs said: “The characterisation works are complemented by the taxonomic classification of the most representative flora and the study of the waters through laboratory analyses of physicochemical and hydrobiological parameters.”

Newmont withdraws 2020 guidance as four mines go into care and maintenance mode

Newmont says it is withdrawing its full-year 2020 guidance after placing four of its operations into temporary care and maintenance mode in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said these actions could see some production deferred into 2021, potentially impacting costs in 2020 if the suspensions continue for an extended period. This meant its guidance of 6.4 Moz of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $975/oz for 2020, given in early January, would no longer stand.

For the March quarter, Newmont said it expected to produce some 1.4 Moz of attributable gold and around 325,000 of “co-product gold equivalent ounces”. Year-to-date through February 29, Newmont had produced around 981,000 oz of attributable gold and some 227,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces, it said.

“Newmont continues to work proactively with logistics partners and refiners to transport and refine product in a challenging environment,” it said. “We are not currently experiencing significant delays in the shipping of concentrate or transportation and refining of doré, but they may occur in the coming days and weeks if certain government-required shutdowns and border restrictions occur.”

Mines representing around 80% of the company’s production outlook for 2020 continue operating in line with production targets for the year, it said. These operations have implemented heightened levels of health screening, along with support services being conducted remotely.

“If at any point the company determines that continuing operations poses an increased risk to our workforce or host communities, we will reduce operational activities up to and including care and maintenance and management of critical environmental systems,” the company added.

Yet, in order to protect nearby communities and align with travel restrictions or health considerations in Argentina, Canada and Peru, four of its operations are being temporarily put into care and maintenance.

“The operations will be positioned so they can safely and quickly resume normal operations once protective measures have been lifted,” the company said.

The operations being placed into care and maintenance mode includ:

  • Musselwhite: Newmont has decided to limit personnel on site to minimise fly-in/fly-out activity to prevent the possible transmission of the virus into communities, including nearby First Nations communities in northern Ontario – essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management and provide security;
  • Eléonore (pictured: Credit Osisko Gold Royalties): Newmont has decided to limit personnel on site to comply with the Quebec government’s restriction on non-essential travel within the province and to prevent the possible transmission of the virus into communities, including nearby First Nations communities – essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management and provide security;
  • Cerro Negro: Newmont will have to limit personnel on site due to the halt of all domestic flights and mass transportation in Argentina through March 31 – remaining on site will be essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management, provide security and continue ground control activities; and
  • Yanacocha: As previously disclosed, mining operations were in the process of safely ramping down due to government travel restrictions in-country, while gold production from leach pads and critical safety, security and environmental management activities continue

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newmont, said: “Our business continuity plans and rapid response teams have been fully mobilised in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“We are working closely with host communities, First Nations and other indigenous peoples, regional and national governments and health experts to protect our workforce and nearby communities. This includes putting some operations temporarily into care and maintenance while others continue to operate at targeted production levels.

“We are also making sure that these short-term disruptions do not impact long-term business value while ensuring we are well-positioned to safely and efficiently ramp-up operations in a timely manner once the worst of this global pandemic passes.”

Measures taken at Newmont operations and offices globally include:

  • Cancelling all non-essential travel;
  • Enhanced temperature and questionnaire screening at entry points to sites;
  • Establishing flexible and remote working plans for employees;
  • Establishing screening for fly-in-fly-out employees prior to their departures from their home communities;
  • Mandatory self-quarantine for anyone who has travelled internationally or has any flu-like symptoms;
  • Providing logistical and health care support to nearby communities where needed; and
  • Established a global supply chain task force to assess all potential risks and develop viable contingency plans that enable us to stay ahead of any potential supply disruptions.

Buenaventura and Sierra Metals scale back Peru operations

Compañia de Minas Buenaventura and Sierra Metals have become the latest companies to scale down activities in Peru following the government’s issuing of a supreme decree and declaration of a national emergency in order to contain the COVID-19 virus outbreak.

These restrictions currently remain in place for a 15-day period, commencing March 16, and have already seen Newmont, Anglo American and Freeport McMoRan scale back operations in the country.

Buenaventura, in accordance with these restrictions and within the framework of the company’s Pandemic Response Plan, as well as local and national health authority requirements and recommendations, says it will limit the activities of its operations to those which ensure functionality of its mine pumping systems, water treatment plants, energy supply, hydroelectric substations, health services as well as safety conditions including backfill and general support, among others.

Sierra Metals, meanwhile, has temporarily ceased mining operations at its Yauricocha mine (pictured), saying it continues to seek further clarity on the declaration and its impact on mining operations in Peru.

Both companies say they are prepared to immediately restart operations once they have received notice from federal and local authorities that it is appropriate to do so.

Buenaventura commented: “All operations and offices have implemented the appropriate travel restrictions, surveillance, monitoring and response plans to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and outbreak, including health screening of contractors, visitors and employees when appropriate.

“In addition, individual operations continually assess the situation as it evolves and have limited external visitors to only those who are considered to be business critical. Each of its operations also continue to monitor and implement business continuity measures to mitigate and minimise any potential impacts of the global outbreak that might emerge on its operations, supply chain, commercial and financial activities.”

Sierra Metals President and CEO, Igor Gonzales, meanwhile, said: “We take the safety of our employees very seriously and have complied with the government’s requests. We have sent 470 staff home from the mine, while an emergency staff of 150 remain at the site.

“Management continues to follow the recommendations provided by the World Health Organization and Peruvian Health Authorities. We continue to monitor and seek clarity on the situation and will update shareholders and the market further as things progress.”

While Buenaventura did not mention its 2020 guidance in the release, it did say there had been no material impact to production or shipment of concentrate from any of the company’s operations to date as a result of COVID-19.

“Additionally, there has been no significant disruption to the supply chain of the company’s operations. Buenaventura’s central headquarters is in frequent contact with all individual operations and associated mine managers to ensure timely updates on the situation and provide any necessary logistical support,” the company said.

Sierra Metals said its guidance remains unchanged at this time, given Yauricocha had been running ahead of budget since the beginning of the year, and the company is ahead on 2020 production tonnage to date.

“Additionally, the mine has approximately 37,000 t of ore stockpiled at its processing mill, which represents more than two thirds of the ore needed by the mill during the disruption period and it can recommence production very quickly.

“Furthermore, the company has the operating flexibility to temporarily run the ore processing mill above the 3,150 t/d capacity, which should help Yauricocha recover lost ore tonnages from this stoppage.”

In addition to Buenaventura and Sierra Metals, Teck Resources announced that Compania Minera Antamina, in which Teck has a 22.5% interest, continues to operate the Antamina mine under an exemption from recently announced government restrictions.

it said critical operations will be maintained by a reduced workforce throughout the 15-day national emergency quarantine period, with appropriate precautions being taken by Antamina to protect its workforce during this “challenging period”.

The company clarified that there had been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the mine site and, assuming no further adverse developments in connection with COVID-19, any temporary reduction in production was expected to be recovered in line with existing 2020 guidance.