Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 19 of 107

REGIONAL NEWS - LATIN AMERICA 18 E&MJ • AUGUST 2018 that is facing one of the most important copper producers in the world. The an- nouncement was made by Minister of Finance Felipe Larraín, together with Minister of Mining Baldo Prokurica, and Chairman of Codelco Juan Benavides. Benavides expressed his satisfaction, stressing that the capital contribution will allow Codelco to maintain its level of in- debtedness at around US$14 billion. "This is a very important signal given by the government to sustain the activ- ity and development of the investments that Codelco has … We are talking about US$20 billion for the next fi ve years and another US$20 billion for the next one. That is, about US$40 billion of exclusive investment to maintain production lev- els," Benavides said. "The contribution will allow the cur- rent (debt) levels to be sustained. What lies ahead is that the investment fl ows are so signifi cant that there is a cash defi cit for the next four or fi ve years, so this con- tribution is very signifi cant," he added. "The copper company has managed to reduce almost US$1.3 billion in costs." Larraín said this capitalization means "a support for the ambitious investment program that Codelco has, but without which it is impossible for Codelco to maintain itself as a leading company." In this regard, he said, "We are inter- ested in Codelco continuing to develop (…) it is important that Codelco can carry it out, because otherwise if it does not in- vest, there is a depletion of the mines, there is an exhaustion in the time that it's pretty fast." The capitalization will be carried out from now until February 2019, according to Larraín. The minister said the fi rst contri- bution will be given slightly more than half of the resources now, "according to the availability of cash that the Treasury has," recalling that "we are in a complex fi scal situation." Meanwhile, the minister of mining said, "this contribution is very import- ant to maintain the level of production of Codelco to meet the challenge that pres- ents us (…) is a powerful investment to continue with structural projects." From the labor union side, President of the Copper Workers Federation (FTC) Juan Olguin applauded the announce- ment and said the amount given will help the development of the projects. PEA Supports Lumina's Cangrejos Project in Ecuador Lumina Gold has reported the results of the preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its 100% owned Cangrejos gold-copper project in southwest Ecua- dor, just 40 kilometers (km) from the commercial port of Puerto Bolivar. The PEA estimates that the project can pro- duce an average of 373,000 ounces per year (oz/y) of gold and 43 million pounds per year (lb/y) of copper over a mine life of 16 years. A 40,000-metric-ton-per-day (mt/d) concentrator will process mine production from years one to fi ve and will be expand- ed to process 80,000 mt/d beginning in year six. Life-of-mine feed grades will av- erage 0.69 g/mt gold and 0.12% copper. Initial capital costs including working capital are estimated at $831 million, and expansion capital including working capital is estimated at $406 million. Av- erage cash operating costs are estimated at $523/oz of gold produced and all-in sustaining costs are estimated at $569/ oz, net of byproduct credits. The Cangrejos PEA contemplates large-scale open-pit mining, using a 100%-owner-operated equipment fl eet. A 15-month pre-production stripping pe- riod is contemplated to expose suffi cient ore for initial concentrator operations. Haul road construction and clearing and grubbing of the pit area will be performed for the most part by contractors prior to the start of pre-production stripping. The proposed Cangrejos fl owsheet in- cludes SAG and ball mills, gravity gold concentrators, copper-gold and molyb- denum fl otation circuits, and thickening and fi ltering of fl otation tailings. Gravity concentration tests on fresh rock indicate that 37% of the gold can be recovered into the gravity gold concentrate. Near-surface saprolite and saprock materials are not included in the current processing plan, as they respond poorly to the concentration processes. There is an opportunity to extract mineralization from approximately 10 million mt of this mate- rial with further metallurgical studies and modifi cations to the processing circuit, which Lumina expects to consider at the pre-feasibility study stage. Tailings will be conveyed to a dry- stack tailings facility. Concentrates will be trucked to Puerto Bolivar. Lumina plans to continue its current infi ll, step-out, and depth-extension drill- ing program at Cangrejos to further delin- eate open areas to the south, north, west, and at depth. Following completion of this program, Lumina expects to advance the project to a prefeasibility study.

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