Tag Archives: Santa Cruz

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions bolsters Argentina service offering

To reduce response times, increase service quality and be closer to key mining clients, Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions is decentralising its workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to invest in a service centre in Caleta Olivia in the Province of Santa Cruz.

The maintenance and repair workshop for mining equipment, which opened in July, is strategically located and equipped with advanced systems such as South America’s first test bench for transmissions, axles and converters, according to Sandvik. It not only allows for the equipment to rotate, but can also take a heavy load, helping to guarantee reliability and quality of repairs.

“The objective of the Sandvik service centre in Caleta Olivia is to deliver results with high quality standards, in a timely manner,” Sebastián Issel, Country Manager of Sandvik Argentina SA, said. “To do this, we are strongly committed to the strategic development of local suppliers.”

The workshop entails a reception area, a 1,775-sq.m service area for repairs (featuring capacity for four service teams), a specific area for component repairs, training rooms and offices. The workshop is designed to carry out repairs of all types of components and equipment that Sandvik currently has in service in Argentina, including surface and underground drills and underground trucks and loaders.

The new facilities will also serve to complement training connected to mine sites for Sandvik technicians and customer representatives alike, Sandvik said.

As a supplier to many key mining operators in the southern region of Argentina, Sandvik says it sees the opening of the new service centre as an important move to provide a more localised service offering. The opening of the Caleta Olivia workshop represents a distribution point and satellite to have a faster response when a customer needs a specific component or spare part, it said. Its location in Caleta Olivia allows for less travel and smooth shift changes for service technicians.

Sandvik’s presence in key mining and construction provinces in Argentina delivers, the company says, a strategic combination for customers in the area, with the headquarters located in San Justo and the facilities in Caleta Olivia serving as the distribution and repair centre in the region.

South Star’s filtered tailings plan for Santa Cruz graphite project stacks up

South Star Mining Corp’s aim of using a filter press and eliminating the requirement for a tailings storage facility at its Santa Cruz graphite project in Bahia, Brazil, has been given a boost following positive bench scale test results.

The Toronto-listed company said it had received positive results for the laboratory bench scale filtered tailings tests performed on two simulated tailings samples from Santa Cruz. Two tailings samples (+325 mesh and -325 mesh) were generated and tested in laboratory facilities in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, it said.

Five scenarios were completed for the leaf filter tests with various solids densities, feed rates, vacuum pressures, and cake thickness:

  • -325 mesh sample at 10% solids;
  • -325 mesh sample at 10% solids at higher feed rate and vacuum pressures;
  • -325 mesh sample at 20% solids;
  • -325 mesh sample at 20% solids with minimized cake thickness, and;
  • +325 mesh sample at 10% solids.

The tests resulted in cake with humidity varying between 23% to 35% and cycle times ranging from 19:23 to 49:47 minutes, according to the company. Based on the bench scale leaf tests, additional pilot tests are being performed to better quantify the range of possible solutions and also test a mixture of the +325 and -325 mesh materials to create a third sample type, the company said, adding that results of the pilot tests were expected shortly.

South Star said the goal of the testing programme was to examine the potential for altering the proposed flow sheet from the process circuit presented in the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) to include a filter press and eliminate the requirement for a tailings storage facility.

“By incorporating filtered tailings technology, the majority of the water from the tailings would be removed and recirculated and allow the dried tails to be placed together with waste rock in a co-disposal waste facility,” the company said.

South Star CEO, Eric Allison, said: “We are very pleased with these initial results from our filtered tailings test programme and their positive implications for utilising dry stack tailings at Santa Cruz for both our trial mining plant and the final full-scale facility. Co-disposal of the waste should not only reduce the project’s environmental impact, risk profile and physical footprint, but should streamline our permitting and licensing processes as well.”

The company plans to incorporate the results of the programme into the prefeasibility report scheduled for completion in the September quarter, it said.

The mid-2017 PEA on Santa Cruz outlined an indicated resource of 14.99 Mt at 2.70% Cg with 404,741 t Cg, and inferred resources of 3.57 Mt at 2.90% Cg with 103,591 t Cg. Graphite deposition at Santa Cruz is found at surface within oxidised material providing a very favourable strip ratio, and requiring no crushing or blasting, according to the company.

The PEA stated Santa Cruz has a post-tax internal rate of return of 78% and a payback period of two years. Mine planning for the existing graphite deposit outlined a 12 Mt mineable resource with a diluted grade of 2.63% Cg providing support for a 19-year open-pit mine. Life of mine average yearly production came in at 15,800 t alongside operating costs of $413/t.