mining in spain | the diggings
Spain has 151 identified mines listed in The Diggings. The most commonly listed primary commodities in Spain mines are
At the time these mines were surveyed, 14 mines in Spain were observed to have ore mineralization in an outcrop, shallow pit, or isolated drill holeknown as an occurance mine.1
Spain has 5 prospect mines.2
101 mines were in production at the time the data was entered into USGS records.
Madrid, Huelva, and Murcia are the with the most mines.
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boliden ltd zinc, copper, lead and silver mine - mining technology | mining news and views updated daily
Los Frailes zinc, copper, lead and silver mine is approximately 45km west of Seville in southern Spain. The mine was operated by Boliden Apirsa SL, then a wholly owned subsidiary of Boliden Ltd, but following a major tailings dam failure in 1998, the operation was initially suspended, and subsequently closed.
The Los Frailes orebody was discovered in 1988, 1km east of the companys then principal asset, the Aznalcollar open-pit zinc mine. Production ceased at Aznalcollar in 1996, after depletion of its reserves, the mining equipment was transferred to Los Frailes, and the concentrator was modified to treat the new mines ore. By December 1997, Los Frailes had attained full rated mine output of 4Mt/y and was successfully milling the new ore.
In April 1998 Boliden Apirsa was obliged to halt the operation after the tailings dam failed. Not only did this deprive Boliden of a large part of its total metal earnings, but the company also incurred substantial clean up and compensation costs. Together with problems at the Myra Falls operation in Canada and at the Lomas Bayas project in Chile, this led to massive financial losses and a consequent restructuring exercise called the Capital Management Program (CMP), whereby Boliden management is now based in Stockholm, Sweden.
Although Apirsa was able to recommence production during 1999, the concentrator ran into technical problems with the then-available ore. In 2000, Boliden decided to cease operations when the current pit was worked out, which happened in September 2001. Under the terms of the closure agreement with personnel and the Andalucia government, Boliden bought some equipment and transferred it to the Aitik open pit mine in Sweden.
The Iberian Pyrite Belt is a 230km-long east-west mineral belt, well-known for its massive sulphide deposits. The deposits are in rhyolite-hosted pyroclastics as either mineralised pyroclastics or pyritised zones.
As of January 1999, Los Frailes had proven and probable ore reserves totalling 43Mt and grading 3.7% zinc, 0.3% copper, 2.1% lead and 58g/t silver. Measured and indicated resources totalled a further 30Mt at similar grades.
Los Frailes used conventional open-pit mining methods to produce ore at a rate of 4Mt/y. Blasted ore was loaded using electric and hydraulic mining shovels into 240t-capacity haul trucks for transport to the primary crusher.
To meet the needs of the Los Frailes mine, the capacity of the Aznalcollar concentrator was increased from 2.3Mt/y to 4Mt/y. Significant modifications to the mill included the introduction of autogenous grinding, conversion of the ball mills to secondary pebble mills and the installation of new and larger flotation cells. In addition, the concentrate dewatering system was changed to pressure filtration and a state-of-the-art process control system was installed to improve recoveries and the quality of the concentrates.
Flotation techniques recovered zinc, lead and copper concentrates which, after dewatering, were transported 90km by road to the port at Huelva. A portion of the zinc concentrate was shipped to the Norzink refinery in Norway, while the balance, as well as the lead concentrate, was sold to other European smelters. The copper concentrate was shipped to Japan.
Los Frailes had a design capacity of 125,000t/y of zinc, 48,000t/y of lead, 4,700t/y of copper and 90.8t/y of silver. Output had reached around 90% of design capacity by late 1999, and Boliden reported a total production of 93,598t of zinc, 40,312t lead, 3,048t copper and 1.6Moz silver in 2000, the last full year of operation.
On 25 April 1998 the failure of the tailings dam wall released an estimated 5.5Mm of tailings water and about 1.3Mm of tailings, the latter being removed and stored in the Aznalcollar pit, which also received tailings from the continuing concentrator operation.
domes for sustainable mining geometrica
Perhaps you've heard the saying, "If its not created in a laboratory, then its very likely mined." The world is built on the metals and raw materials extracted from the earth. The industry creates jobs, bolsters local economies, and encourages foreign investment. But mining has also taught an entire sector the meaning of the word green a design factor in which Geometrica specializes.
No longer are mining bulk-material stockpiles left uncovered to contaminate soil, groundwater and air. Rather, eco-friendly Freedomes are designed to address a host of environmental challenges. Geometrica designs long span domes and barrel vaults that prevent runoff, contain dust and spare landscapes. Vegetation, livestock and communities are protected against pollutants. Freedome technology keeps stockpiles under cover, including ores of copper, zinc, and precious metals, bauxite, potash, gravel, limestone, coal, clay and more.
To date, Geometrica has built such structures in 30 countries, helping the worlds industrial footprint tread more softly around Mother Nature. Below are examples of domes and barrel vaults that have changed the landscape of the world.
The Velardea mine and its neighboring town in the Mexican state of Durango, share the same topography and environment. Industrias Peoles oversees the mine and utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to safeguard air and water supplies.
When Minas de Aguas Tenidas, S.A. (MATSA), needed domes to cover their crushed ore stockpiles in Andaluca, Spain, they turned to Geometrica. Iberian Minerals Corp., a Canadian company with mining operations in Peru and Spain, owns the underground mine. When the time came to upgrade and revitalize, a new double circuit concentrator was designed to process 1.7 million tons per year of copper, zinc, and lead.
Geometrica proposed two domes for ore storage at 59m in diameter and 29m high with a surface area of 4,900 square meters and floor area of 2,700 square meters. Each dome had 14,400 tubes and 4,100 connectors and two openings, one for the feeding conveyor ingress and the other for dozers and other heavy machinery. The "twins" were designed to contain dust, protect the raw materials from the elements, and reflect the commitment of the Iberian Minerals Corp. as environmental leaders.
Like most of the Geometrica domes, they were installed perimeter-up" at the base of the perimeter of the structure on the concrete beam. Then they were moved ring by ring toward the apex by Geometrica workers using two manlifts. The result is a lightweight, resilient and incredibly strong structure built to withstand the most extreme conditions.
Cresting 94m above its 4000m high surrounding terrain, the new Caserones dome could be confused with one of the peaks that rise around it. Also, at that altitude above sea level, the facilities are subject to snow loads that reach 800kg/m2 and wind gusts of 300kg/m2. The stockpile, one of the largest in the world, is set in a steep ravine and has an elevation change of 20m between its lowest and highest supports.
The challenge was to build a dome to span a whooping 145m span and be tall enough to shed the brutal snow accumulation in winter. Geometrica's extensive experience with long span "all-terrain" free-form structures made them the logical choice to design and construct the magnificent project. The dome is now the largest and tallest stockpile cover in South America. Geometrica also supplied a concentrate storage dome and connected barrel vault for environmental protection at this mine.
El Brocal, Peru's largest publicly traded precious metals mining company, is committed to environmental protection. This commitment extended to the architecture of its new storage building for copper ore in Cerro de Pasco, located in central-western Peru. At 4300m above sea level, Cerro de Pasco is one of the highest-altitude cities in the world. Here, Geometrica's structural beauty blends with the environment. Equally important, the enclosed barrel vault protects the environment from the dust generated when the copper ore is moved to and from storage.
The new storage structure presented challenges. It had to be built within the limits of the finished building, and copper ore would have to be delivered via a tripper conveyor suspended along the length of the building's apex. Therefore, the building's shape had to support both wind and material loads efficiently. It also needed a structure strong enough to support the weight of the conveyor equipment, as well as vibrations and impacts created by the moving copper ore. Furthermore, even in the constrained space, El Brocal management mandated that construction take place with minimal interruption to its operations.
To build the structure, half arches were assembled on the ground, then lifted with cranes and joined at the apex with Z purlins and bracings. The end wall was built by assembling "spiders" on the ground, then lifting them into position. The tripper likewise was assembled in sections on the ground, then lifted to its position and joined after the longitudinal structure was complete. Installation met the severe site constraints, and the finished structure is light, beautiful, and designed to resist the loads from the tripper and the high-altitude environmental conditions.
At the entrance of the Cerrillos Canyon in northern Chile lies a copper ore processing facility. Located 30 km southeast of the city of Copiap, this area is also an important wine region. The vineyards needed to be protected from fugitive dust from the crushing and handling operations. Foam sprays and fabric barriers were ineffective, and a Geometrica Freedome provided the perfect solution.
Geometrica overcame several design obstacles. For instance, equipment and conveyors were not laid out with an enclosure in mind. The main area encompassed more than 5000m2 in a shape that was irregular after several expansions. Existing equipment and buildings dictated the shape as crushers and sifter equipment had to be enclosed, while a hopper had to remain outside. The supporting structure had to bridge existing buildings. There was no way to fit a conventional circular dome on this site.
A Freedome, plus two smaller domes, was installed from the foundation by local labor, progressing toward the apex ring by ring. No scaffolding, welding, or operating downtime was required. Cladding consisted of rectangular corrugated metal sheets with a polyester finish. Now dust emissions are controlled from the plants material processing while the vineyards are protected.
With ongoing strong copper prices, construction activities in Northern Chile continue. Within this large copper producing region is the open pit copper mine Sierra Gorda, thought to be a "seventh wonder of the mining world." More precisely, this breathtaking enterprise is the seventh largest copper development on planet earth.
Located at the doorstep of the Chilean commune in Antofagasta Province, the environment is a priority. Geometrica designed two circular domes to protect the surrounding locale from air, particulate and water pollution. One application spans a remarkable 122m over copper ore, and the other spans 62m over concentrate. The concentrate dome features internal cladding. This type of cladding protects the galvanized steel structure from any possible corrosive attack by the copper concentrate in the building.
Located in the Altiplano of the Andes Mountains, San Cristobal is the largest mine in Bolivia. The open-pit extraction of zinc, silver and lead ore requires the transportation of 150,000 tons of rock and the processing of 40,000 tons of mineral daily. And it needed a cover.
Anchored by concrete foundation, the largest dome of its kind in South America was erected around a live stockpile in an irregular shape with no downtime. The dome is designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 150 kph and an ice load of 110 kg per square meter. It accommodates a 9m change in elevation over an astounding 140m, fitted to the terrain.
The above examples prove that industry and nature can coexist on the largest scale imaginable. Regardless of geography or climate, Geometrica designs dual-duty domes that 1) protect stockpiles from the elements, 2) protect the environment from the stockpiles. Our mission is to provide solutions to industries around the world. The question is, "What can Geometrica do for you?"
mining | mining in andalucia
Fifty million years ago the African plate pushed into the European plate. This caused mountains to be forced upwards and, underneath, the earth's crust to be pushed down. A section of this dropped off into the earth's liquid mantel and caused the crust to dip, forming the Alborn Sea and Guadalquivir Valley depressions. It also caused the rocks to twist, bringing deeply buried mineral-laden rocks to the surface.
To the north of the Guadalquivir axis, copper and pyrites extend westwards from Seville into Huelva in what is known as the "Pyrites belt". The mineralpyrite is an iron sulphide. There are deposits of mercury in Almaden, silver at Guadalcanal in the Sierra Morena, copper and lead north of Cordoba, and lead in Linares and La Carolina, north of Jan.
In ancient times, the red pigment used in cave paintings was iron-based. By the start of the Chalcolithic period, about 3500 BC, copper was being mined, and at the Los Milares settlement in Andaluca there were buildings used specifically for metallurgical activity. It is also believed that small mining settlements existed in the Sierra Blanca and Sierra Bermeja areas.
When the Phoenicians arrived in Spain they found that silver held no esteem with the local tribes. The Phoenicians mined most of their copper in modern-day Cyprus. However, iron and copper from Spain was said to be exceedingly abundant - although there is little recorded from this period. The Phoenicians sourced tin from Cornwall, while lead was also mined.
Phoenician methods were not unlike those used today. Ore was crushed and powdered and washed. It was heated until molten in white clay crucibles. Slag (impurities) were removed and skimmed off the surface, and the metal was poured into moulds. The Phoenicians were never able to separate gold and silver.
The Romans were the first to exploit the minerals on an extensive scale. Baetica was their southern Iberian province. The bronze Aljustrel tablets found in Portugal detail their mining laws: they left lamps, hammer stones, wooden ladders and esparto grass baskets. Water drainage was their greatest achievement. Human-powered waterwheels and Archimedean screws allowed them to work to depths of 200 metres, and slaves were used for the mining.
The Moors invaded from northern Africa in 712 AD and they were more interested in arts and sciences than mining. However, a number of mining towns have Moorish names: Alquife (iron), Almaden (mercury) and Mazaron (copper).
During the early Catholic period after the Reconquest most of the precious metals came from the New World: gold from Mexico, Columbia and Peru; and silver from Potosi (Bolivia). However, mercury was mined in Almaden north of Seville and transported to the New World. It was needed in for the extraction of gold.
There were no mining laws, and mining rights were handled by the church.There were a few claims at this time in Andaluca: Lorenzo Galindez de Carvajal received a warrant in 1513 from the Archbishop of Badajoz; and Juan Xelder, a Bavarian, in 1553 was given rights to various mines by the Bishop of Cordoba.
Jacob Fuggers of the Austrian banking family had loaned Charles I half a million florins to help finance his election as Holy Roman Emperor and, getting behind on his repayments, the King granted Fuggers the rights to mine Almaden. Concessions ran from 1525 to 1533, 1537 to 1550 and 1563 to 1645.
At Guadalcanal in 1555, villagers Martn Delgado and Gonzalo Delgado appear to have rediscovered and registered the mines and obtained ore from seams and outcrops. On 11 October 1555 the provincial Governor, Gaston de Peralta, Marqes de Falces, received a cedula (sealed written order) from His Majesty King Charles I saying, "I am advised that in the province, in Guadalcanal, and other places nearby, they have discovered silver mines."
The King sent Agustin de Zarate, a "counter" of the royal house, to embargo the mine. He arrived at Guadalcanal on 6 November 1555 and soon reported the presence of "more than thirty thousand ducados" (one and a half million ounces of silver). Zarate reported "such wealth that had never been seen nor heard of before in this Kingdom". Martn Delgado had disappeared but was soon arrested in Seville with a large consignment of silver. Actually Delgado gave up his mining rights to King Charles I and was indemnified with 500 ducados for "finding the premier rich mine".
The royal dilemma now was how to earn from the mines without having to first invest from the royal exchequer. The answer was to sell concessions to others and also to tax the profits. However, nobody would take on the risks of a concession without a firm mining law in place.
This was established in Spain's first mining law, "Las Ordenanzas de Felipe II of 1559", by which all mines and minerals below the ground became Crown property. The take-up of concessions was not good and in 1585 the "Nuevas Leyes y Ordenanzas de minas de Felipe II" (or the second mining law) opened it further by saying any person, national or foreign, could hold a concession.
Back in Guadalcanal, Francisco de Mendoza was sent to Guadalcanal on 25 April 1556 as Visitador. Mendoza was the son of Antonio de Mendoza, the first Virrey de Nuevo Espaa (Governor of South America ) and had experience of mining there. He had returned to Spain on the death of his father and petitioned King Charles I, who died in January 1556. It was his son King Filipe II who sent Mendoza down to Guadalcanal as Visitador with instructions to continue searching in the area for other mines. In the summer of 1556 he did just that and made an expedition west to Aracena and from there, with a local guide, rediscovered the big one: Ro Tinto.
The story of mining in Andaluca was not a happy one. There were reports from Rio Tinto and Guadalcanal about various entrepreneurs holding concessions 10 ten or 20 years and then failing. The state also tried running mines without success. Lack of skills and investment and remote locations away form transport routes were the frequently cited problems.
At the same time in the UK, the 1720 Bubble Act, which was a protection against South Sea Bubble, requiring all companies to have a royal charter, was relaxed in stages up to the Registration Act of 1844 and the Limited Liability Act of 1855. This made it much easier for individuals to set up limited companies.
In 1844 a lucrative Quicksilver contract was awarded by the Spanish Government to Rothschilds to work the mercury mine at Almaden. It was controversial at the time and it did spark foreign interest in mining in Spain. This led to the Taylors and others investing successfully in lead mines in Linares and Matheson in the Ro Tinto copper mines.
Mining was restarted in 1864 and gold fever struck in 1880. Many small mines opened up with small groups of miners chasing seams of gold with hand tools.This gold is not found in nuggets but is encrusted into the mineral-laden rock and called ore.The gold was situated in quartz with veins of other metals such as lead and silver. After crushing the ore to a powder, a chemicalprocess called "amalgamation" using mercury was required to extract the gold. More>
The Ro Tinto mines, located in the north of Huelva province, are reputed to be the oldest mines in the world, with the exception of mines in Cyprus. They certainly have the most longevity of those being worked today - since before 1000BC. In the late 19thcentury, they were the world's leading producer of copper.
Their eight square miles have provided a major source of European copper in both ancient and modern times. Ro Tinto contains the largest mass of cupriferous pyrite (one of the minerals from which copper is extracted) known to man, together with some gold, silver, sulphur and iron. The redsoilthat dominates the landscape is caused by the oxidation of metal-bearing rocks over many millions of years.
Ro Tinto mines are part of the 230-kilometre Iberian pyrite belt, extending from Aznalcollar near Seville to Aljustrel in Portugal. Pyrite is a mineral containing a combination of sulphur with iron and copper, with a metallic lustre which lends it the name "fool's gold". At certain places this mining field showed surface signs of two other vividly-coloured copper minerals: bright green malachite and deep blue azurite. This must have attracted the curiosity of the area's prehistoric inhabitants. More>
This excellent modern museum explains the history of the mining industry in the areas surrounding La Carolina and other settlers' towns. It charts the history from ancient times to the mining boom of the 19thcentury, and will be enjoyed by anyone interested in mining and industry, especially British visitors, since - as inRo Tinto(Huelva) - British engineers were involved in setting up the mines. This museum was originally called the Museo Arqueologico de La Carolina, and reopened in December 2011 as a modern interpretation centre More>
La Joya is an old mining settlement named after the Arroyo de la Joya, some 70 kilometres north of Huelva, close to the Atlantic and the Portuguese border in the Comarca (area) of La Andavalo, west of theSierra de Aracena.It sits in rolling countryside south of the lesser-known hill-range of the Sierra de Pelada ('bare mountains"), near the town of Cabezas Rubias ('redheads") on the HU-7104 road. More>
This almost-abandoned mining village in the north of the province of Huelva is located a few kilometres from the border with the region of Extremadura and province of Badajoz. It is dependent on the nearby village ofCala, a few kilometres away.
Alquife has historically been a mining village producing up to 40 per cent of the iron extracted in Spain. Although closed today due to a crisis at the beginning of the past century, these mines had been in operation since the time of the Roman Empire. More>
On 25 April 1998, theDoana Disaster,also known as theAznalcllar Disaster,occurred. The mineral waste retaining wall at the Swedish-owned Los Frailespyrite mine burst, causing the most harmful environmental and socio-economic disaster in Andaluca. Approximately four to five million cubic metres of minetailings, containing dangerous levels of severalheavy metals, quickly leaked into theRiver AgrioandRiverGuadiamar, travelling 40 kilometres. Due to the immense damage caused the regional government decided in May 1998 to finance a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary research initiative with the objective of eradicating or at least minimising all of the negative social, economic and environmental impacts.The clean-up operation took three years: almost 2,000 birds, chicks, eggs and nests were killed or destroyed, and more than 25,000 kilos of dead fish were collected in the aftermath. The concession to mine again in Aznalcllar was awarded by theJunta de Andalucain 2015. More>
Situated in theSierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Parknear the village ofSan Nicols del Puertois Cerro del Hierro(Iron Hill). As well as being a former Roman mining site, Cerro del Hierro is noteworthy for its limestone features, among the most outstanding in Andaluca, which include chasms and gullies. Its unique microclimate means that there are some extremely interesting plants. More>
In 1555 a silver mine calledPozo Ricooutside Guadalcanal was rediscovered. It soon became one of the most important silver mines in Spain, perhaps in Europe, and it was probably named after the world's biggest, the Cerro Rico mine in Potosi (Bolivia).
The silver is found bound in minerals, in veins or seams of hydrothermal vents, which also include lead, zinc and copper.In Iberian geological terms Guadalcanal is found in the Ossa-Morena zone and the rock is of the lower Cambrico period (about 500 million years ago). More>
Minas de la Reunion is part of a mining basin is comprised of a huge hypogenic mass running NW to SE. Its southern edge is in contact with a more recent formation which is the base of the coal deposit. In this basin, coal sediments are broken down into three groups: base gaps, production face and ceiling conglomerates. More>
The Belmez, Espiel, Pozoblanco and Peiiarroya-Pueblonuevo (Cordoba) mining basin yields coal- rich carbonated deposits. The mining of copper pyrite and lead-rich galena also became very important. More>
Sierra Almagrera in southwest Spain is a small, four-kilometre wide mountain range running parallel to the coast for a distance of 12 kilometres with a maximum altitude of under 400 metres in the municipalities of Cuevas del Almanzora and Pulpi. It is known for its rich deposits of silver and lead. More>
Sierra del Aguiln has been subject to mining exploitation throughout history. Contemporary mining began in 1840, with the use of trenches and cuts into silver galena. Mining ceased in the Civil War. Mina Rica seemed forgotten, it resurfaced in December 1999 with the discovery of the largest mineral geode in Europe. It is open to the public. More>
Special measure continue in Andalucia. Bars, cafs, restaurants and shops can stay open until midnight. There are only travel resrictions to a few villages. Wearing facemasks outdoors is recommended and compulsory indoors such as shops, offices, restaurants and public transport. Traditional festivals and parades are cancelled, however music festivals and concerts especially those outdoors and seated are taking place again. Keep up to date with the latest about Coronavirus in Andalucia, Spain.
zinc archives - page 2 of 7 - international mining
Centurion says it has been awarded a multi-year contract by Century Mining Ltd (CML) to provide logistics support, servicing the Century zinc mine and Karumba Port facilities in north Queensland, Australia.
Centurion will use a national road network to consolidate freight in north Queensland (including through Centurions Townsville branch), complemented by dedicated daily services to the Century Mine and Karumba Port, it said. A dedicated road train fleet will be engaged with a mix of trailing equipment to cater for the safe and efficient transportation of bulk reagents, general freight and grinding media, all of which is required for the daily operations of the mine and port facility.
CML, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Century Resources, operates the Century Mine, extracting zinc concentrate, and Karumba Port facility to undertake export transfer of bulk concentrate to key customers globally.
Centurion CEO, Justin Cardaci, said: We are excited to support CML on a national scale. Centurions end-to-end logistics solutions, proprietary tracking systems, and nationwide branch network enable us to tailor and adapt to CMLs specific requirements and provide visibility through out every step of the service.
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 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 Finlands 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 companys 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 plants 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.
Tersvasara 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.
Atalaya Mining has commenced the execution of a feasibility study to evaluate the economic viability of producing cathodes from complex sulphide ores prevalent in the Iberian Pyrite Belt through the application of a new extraction process called the E-LIX System.
The production of cathodes has the potential to generate cost savings by reducing charges associated with concentrate transportation, treatment and refining, and penalty elements, while also reducing carbon emissions, the company said.
E-LIX System is a newly developed electrochemical extraction process developed and owned by Lain Technologies Ltd, led by Dr Eva Lain, who holds a PhD in Electrochemistry research from the University of Cambridge.
Through the application of singular catalysts and physico-chemical conditions, E-LIX System is able to achieve high metal recoveries under low residence times, by accomplishing rapid reaction rates while overcoming classic surface passivation issues that have typically impaired metal recovery from complex sulphide ores, Atalaya said. E-LIX System is considered to be a more environmentally-friendly process than existing technologies; it generates zero emissions and does not consume water or acid, and runs under mild operating conditions (atmospheric pressure and room temperature).
Patented in 2014 by Lain Tech, the E-LIX System has been developed in collaboration with Atalaya from an initial concept in the laboratory to a fully operational pilot plant located at Proyecto Riotinto, in Spain.
The pilot plant with a capacity of 5 t/d has been running for the past nine months, with only mandatory stoppage owing to COVID-19 restrictions. Leach rates of up to 250 kg/h have been achieved processing copper concentrates, zinc concentrates and blends of different types of sulphides, according to the company. The pilot plant also contains a solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX-EW) section and has successfully produced high purity copper cathodes as a proof of concept.
Excellent leach results with recovery rates well over 90% have been attained, the company said. Fast kinetics for copper and zinc have also been successfully achieved overcoming the well-known passivation problem of leaching primary sulphides.
The pilot plant has demonstrated that the E-LIX System effectively treats the impurity levels typically associated with the complex sulphides present in the pyrite belt that runs through the south of Portugal and Spain and prevalent at Proyecto Riotinto.
During the past five years, Atalaya has provided financial assistance to Lain Tech to develop the E-LIX System and has now reached an agreement with Lain Tech to use its patents, on an exclusive licence basis within the Iberian pyrite belt in Spain and Portugal.
Under the terms of the licence agreement and based on the encouraging operating results at the pilot plant, the company has commissioned a feasibility study to evaluate the construction of an industrial scale plant for the production of a minimum of 10,000 t/y of copper cathode metal. The study at a cost of around 1 million ($1.2 million) will be funded by Atalaya and is expected to be finalised in 2021. The agreement also provides for a profit sharing arrangement between Atalaya and Lain Tech.
The feasibility study will be based on the results obtained from the pilot plant and aims to confirm the scalability of the E-LIX System and the capital and operating costs of the industrial plant, Atalaya said. Should the industrial plant be built, it will be funded and constructed by Atalaya with Lain Tech designing, operating and managing the E-LIX System.
Atalaya believes that the use of the E-LIX System could potentially be applicable to the large amount of complex sulphide ore inventory present throughout the Iberian pyrite belt, including Atalayas mining properties such as Proyecto Riotinto and Proyecto Masa Valverde, it said.
Atalaya CEO, Alberto Lavandeira, said: We are fortunate to have been given this unique opportunity to work with Dr Eva Lain in the development of the E-LIX System. I believe this system has the potential to play an important role in the economic treatment of many complex orebodies worldwide. We look forward to updating the market on the results of the feasibility study.
Fresnillo and MAG Silver Corps 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 Peoles, SA De CV in Torren, 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 Silvers 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.
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 Perentis hard-rock underground miner is approximately A$140 million ($103 million).
Barmincos 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 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 Oyn 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.
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.
The acquisition of Atlas Copcos HiLight V5+ light towers with two-cylinder engines changed the whole picture for us. Its a solution that has been radical, Tello said. Until now, JRCs 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.
Oricas fully wireless initiation system, WebGen, has another achievement under its belt, this time helping Nexa Resources Vazante underground mine reduce ore dilution from 27% to 20%, resulting in a net benefit of $1.59 million.
The single blast event achieved a smaller hydraulic radius by keeping the pillar during the stope extraction which, in turn, resulted in a reduced cycle time to 20 days, down 70% from an expected 90 days, by maintaining two mucking access points to the main stope. This was only possible due to the wireless capability of WebGen, Orica said.
WebGen allows for groups of in-hole primers to be wirelessly initiated by a firing command that communicates through hundreds of metres of rock, air, and water. This eliminates the need for down-wires and surface connecting wires, enabling new mining methods and blasting techniques that are safe and reliable, according to Orica.
In addition to Vazante, WebGen has improved performance and safety at several other mining operations, including Newmonts Musselwhite operation (Canada) and First Quantum Minerals Kevitsa mine (Finland).
Nexa Vazante Chief Mining Engineer, Mateus Ribeiro, said: Thanks to this technology and partnership, we recovered an island rib pillar, which is a pillar kept in the open stope for dilution control. After all the ore from the block was extracted and the pillar had completed its requirement, the pre-loaded holes were successfully initiated remotely.
We went through a series of improvements in the evolution of blasting technology with Orica, from the first detonators until nowadays using 100% wireless detonators. The blast happened two levels below us, so we are 400 m away, above the shot. All encoded signals were sent through the rock with the safety protocols to fire the blast being followed.
Vazante is a zinc-lead mine owned by Nexa Resources, located in northwest Minas Gerais, Brazil. Using vertical retreat mining (VRM) and long hole open stope as the main methods for ore extraction, the mine has traditionally deployed wired initiators in the recovery of ore, typically yielding around 60% ore recovery in the pillars. The application of wired initiators also required increased resources and time in the mine, according to Orica.
In 2019, Orica proposed the implementation of WebGen wireless initiating technology at Vazante to support the team in mitigating the operational and safety challenges of the mine. Enabled by the wireless technology, ore within the pillars can be recovered through pre-loading without the need to return to the open stope. With the introduction of WebGen, the mine was able to gain time in the sequencing of the blast and extract ore previously inaccessible while improving its operating productivity, according to Orica.
Oricas Latin America Wireless and Electronic Blasting Systems Specialist, Wesley Andrade, said: The Nexa Vazante crew and our team conducted extensive site signal surveying and applied best practices to ensure the drill pattern in the pillar was accurately loaded with WebGen 100 units, encoded and positioned as planned.
This achievement in recovering a pillar through wireless initiation while protecting people from hazards is made possible only by the strong partnership between Nexa Vazante and Orica. We are thrilled to have Nexa Vazante successfully implement wireless blasting with our WebGen initiating system.
The pillar pre-loaded with the wireless initiators was safely fired after 33 days of sleep time, with several ore blasts taking place alongside the pre-loaded pillar. A second application is currently being studied to allow pre-loading of an entire stope, which will reduce operational risk, the number of cycles and increase ore production and therefore profitability for Nexa Vazante, Orica says.
The new generation of wireless initiation system, WebGen 200, is set for commercial release in early 2021. A newer, improved version, WebGen 200 harnesses digital technology to allow advanced reprogramming and digital inventory management, offering mine operations an integrated user interface with improved quality assurance, according to Orica.
Already used at more than 50 mining operations across six continents, the installation at the Greece mine is Pitrams third deployment in the Aegean region, following installations at two production projects in Turkey.
Greece has a wealth of mineral and ore deposits including gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, nickel and bauxite and a history of mining that dates back to ancient times, Pitram Product Strategy Manager, Chris Higgins, said. Turkey also has abundant source of industrial raw materials, rare earth minerals and precious metals including gold, copper, zinc, chrome, nickel, iron, lead, mercury, tin and magnesium.
More than 10 mining operations in Europe are currently using Pitram to record, manage and process mine data in real time, according to the company. The scalable solution has now been deployed at the three underground gold, copper and zinc mines in Turkey and Greece.
Comprising 11 modules including materials management, OLAP analysis, shift planner and fleet management Pitram is a sophisticated mine control and management reporting application enabling the miners to capture data, make quicker, evidence-based decisions and allocate resources more effectively, MICROMINE says.
This includes providing our solutions in the languages needed thats why Pitram has been translated into Turkish and Greek. So, with the functionality to switch between English and the local language, all staff on-site can use the application.
Five SANY excavators, including two SY750Hs, two SY500Hs, one SY215C, and one SRT95C rigid-body mining truck, have recently been delivered to two large coal mines in Indonesia, the China-based equipment manufacturer reports.
The latest delivery, the SY750H, the largest-tonnage SANY excavator in Indonesia at 76 t, added to the SY500Hs and SY215Cs already on site. The SY750H is equipped with a 5.4 cu.m bucket to achieve higher ripping in difficult ground conditions, SANY says. It comes with a fuel-efficient ISUZU engine.
The SY750H crawler excavators are used specifically for overburden, as well as for loading dumper trucks in the mine, SANY said. They have proved their efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reliability in operation.
The delivery of the SRT95C, meanwhile, represented the first rigid truck to head to a coal mining job site in Indonesia. It came equipped with a Cummins QST high-power engine with electronic fuel injection control and Allison transmission. This means enhanced acceleration performance and reduced fuel consumption and emissions, SANY said.
The trucks frame is made of alloyed structural steel, which features resistance to low temperature, bending, twisting and impact. In addition, McPherson front strut suspension adopted on the front axle and steering mechanism smooth the ride, according to SANY.
SANYs equipment has a strong presence in Indonesia as clients across the islands have purchased a range of products, including excavators, cranes and mining trucks, since years ago, it said. These machines have proven their outstanding off-road properties as well as a good quality in service.
The client from one of the coal mines said: With large grab capacity, high fuel efficiency and rapid working cycles, SANY excavators fully meet our requirements. Also, the productivity and stability in operation and good aftersales service, especially the spare part support, make SANY rigid mining trucks impressive.
On July 23, Eritreas Bisha Mining Share Company, owned by Zijin Mining, took delivery of nine SRT95C dump trucks it ordered earlier this year from SANY. These trucks will help the copper-zinc mine increase ore production.
Hudbay, a diversified mining company producing copper, zinc, gold and silver, owns three polymetallic mines, four ore concentrators and a zinc production facility in Canada and Peru (Constancia, pictured), as well as copper projects in the US. Its vision is to be a responsible, top-tier operator of long-life, low-cost mines in the Americas, CEEC says.
CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said that with growing global demand for minerals such as copper to support the shift towards low-carbon technologies, the need for lower footprint mineral processing was becoming even more critical.
Rock crushing and grinding can typically account for more than half of a mines energy consumption, she said. By working together as an industry to understand and optimise comminution challenges, we have the opportunity to improve efficiency and environmental outcomes.
Were delighted that Hudbay has joined our list of visionary sponsors, each committed to collaborating with CEECs global network of miners, suppliers and researchers to advance efficient, cost-effective, lower footprint mining.
Amelunxen said Hudbay was particularly interested in adding a metric to our success by contributing to the CEEC Energy Curves database. This free tool allows users to benchmark the energy efficiency of sites and visually assess potential energy and cost benefits through various operational scenarios.
Weve always approached what we do in terms of improving cost and energy efficiencies, he said. However, were most excited about using the Energy Curves to quantify, pound for pound, the energy reduction piece.
This will help inform our decisions around targeted enhancements to existing sites and plan best practice operations in future mines. The bottom line is that this tool will enable us to demonstrate how we are improving environmental management while also improving returns for shareholders.
David Clarry, Hudbay Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, said data sharing through the CEEC Energy Curves, and broader initiatives such as participation in the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), were important for the industry.
By being transparent and sharing knowledge, we can learn from each other and find novel approaches for achieving environmental benefits in a cost-effective way, Clarry said. Tapping into all the resources that CEEC offers gives us cutting-edge learnings so we can continue to pursue economically viable opportunities to improve energy efficiencies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better manage climate-related risks.
As a lean, virtual not-for-profit, we thank all our sponsors for their continued support during this period of uncertainty, she said. This ongoing commitment will help CEEC and the industry to weather the storm and come out stronger and more sustainable on the other side.