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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 69 of 107

68 E&MJ • AUGUST 2018 MINING IN PERU liminary economic assessment (PEA) that anticipates future production from Coricancha will be 3.1 million oz/y, an internal rate of re- turn (IRR) of 81% and a relatively low capex to get the mine restarted at US$8.8 million. The initial mine-life of four years comprises 28% of Coricancha's resource statement. Great Panther is now embarking on a 6,000 mt bulk sample program to test the mining method, recoveries and dilution rates. The company's objective is to have the mine fully up and running by the end of 2019. "Our study anticipates using a combina- tion of resue mining and captive cut and fill, which is a mechanized method with very project, an epithermal gold deposit hosting around 1 million ounces, that is being de- veloped as an open pit operation with heap leaching and a carbon-in-column plant. Ini- tial production is estimated at 100,000 oz/y. Construction is already under way and mining operations should start before the end of the year. Jaime Polar, general manager of CDC Gold, gave more details: "Our stripping ratio is quite good, just 2:1 according to our mine plan, and we also have favorable hydrogeo- logical studies that indicate that we will not have to dewater the pit. In its first phase, the capital investment to put El Toro into produc- tion amounts to around US$150 million." Silver Silver production in Peru also decreased by 1.6%, totaling 138.4 million ounces. Bue- naventura is the country's largest silver pro- ducer with 23.3 million ounces in 2017, a figure that does not include the additional 4 million ounces coming from El Brocal, anoth- er company that it controls. The other main silver producers in the country are Antamina, with 20.8 million oz/y; Volcan, with 15.9 mil- lion oz/y; and Hochschild Mining, with 15.9 million oz/y. The latter company had production costs of around US$12.5/oz silver equivalent last year, and those should increase slightly in 2018 to between US$13/oz and US$13.4/oz according to the corporate guidance. Part of this cost increase is the US$30-million invest- ment in the Pablo development at the Pallan- cata mine in Peru. "In 2017, Pallancata was working at 1,400 metric tons per day (mt/d). Through incremental expansions, we will reach 2,800 mt/d by Q3 2018, and produc- tion will stabilize at that rate," explained Igna- cio Bustamante, CEO of Hochschild Mining. A new player in Peru is Great Panther Sil- ver, a company with operations in Mexico, that is working to reopen the Coricancha mine in Peru after acquiring the asset from Nyrstar. The company has recently published a pre- small equipment," said James Bannantine, president and CEO of Great Panther Silver. "Nyrstar suffered from dilution, so our main focus is going to be dilution-control, which means lower volume and higher selectivity for narrow-vein mining, as well as having more mining faces," he concluded. Finally, Bear Creek Mining continues ad- vancing at Corani, a very large silver deposit with significant base metal content. Poten- tially moving into construction over the next year, and with expected production of 12 mil- lion oz/y during the first six years of operation, Corani is one of those 'company makers' that do not come in production very often in the industry. Of course, such a large project brings sig- nificant risk with it. Through recent engineer- ing, the company has reduced the estimated capex of the project to a US$585-million figure, which is still high for a junior player transitioning to become a mining company. Anthony Hawkshaw, president and CEO of Bear Creek, said: "There are areas to save money and initial engineering observations have identified possible capex reductions." In May 2018, the company received its mine construction and water permits. Bear Creek will wait for a "compelling project fi- nancing structure" before taking a final con- struction decision. Ignacio Bustamante, CEO, Hochschild Mining. James Bannantine, president and CEO, Great Panther Silver. Aerial view of Corani project in 2017. Photo courtesy of Bear Creek.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Engineering & Mining Journal - AUG 2018