Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 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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82 E&MJ • DECEMBER 2018 www.e-mj.com los gold property, an area of 29,000 hectares in the Guerrero Gold Belt, located 180 km southwest of Mexico City. In April 2018, TGR overcame an illegal blockade at their El Limón Guajes (ELG) mining complex that had lasted six months. Crediting the resistance of the local community that rallied against the blockaders, Fred Stanford, president and CEO of TGR, elaborated on one of the biggest chal- lenges faced by Mexican miners: "Blockades such as this shut down Mexican mines for up to ten years. However, we were up and running again in 10 weeks, and still continued partial operations despite the blockade." TGR is developing its own innovative solutions to drive down costs and increase efficiency at its ELG operation. These include a 1.3 km long conveyor belt which generates its own energy, the Calix Filtration Plant – the biggest filtration plant in the world which uses dry stack calix, and Muckahi mining technology, which Fred Stanford has been developing for years, and Torex Gold will be testing in Q1 2019. The Muckahi monorail conveyor system utilizes a slusher and transports the ore body continuously, requiring a drift half the size of the large trucks currently in use. Stanford believes the Muckahi technology is a game-changing innovation that can dramatically improve productiv- ity: "The aim is to reduce the time necessary for the mining and trans- portation of the ore body to one third of the current time," he stated. Of all the Latin American countries, Chile perhaps is the most mature mining jurisdiction, accounting for around 40% of the world's total copper mine capacity. Toronto-based junior Chilean Metals has a duel focus, with assets in Chile and Nova Scotia. While appearing to be a curious combination at first, Terry Lynch, chairman and CEO of Chilean Metals, compared the geology of the two locations at ei- ther end of the Americas, as they both sit on continental shelf plates. Chilean Metals sold its Copaquire project to Teck for C$3 million in 2015, keeping a 3% royalty, which Lynch believes, considering the scale of Teck's nearby Quebrada Blanca operation, has the potential to finance his company moving forward: "Cash-flow from that will be useful to fund future exploration for Chilean Metals and provide dividends to its shareholders." Ecuador: the new hotspot of world mining For many years, Ecuador remained relatively underexplored, par- ticularly in comparison to its Andean neighbour, Peru. However, the Ecuadorian government has started to support its burgeoning mining sector with gradual improvements to the fiscal policy to attract direct investment, culminating in the complete removal of the windfall tax in August 2018. The government has also decreased royalties on mining projects and granted automatic approval of up to 40 explora- tion drill pads for any new mineral concessions issued. Glenn Mullan, president of PDAC, noted how Ecuador has garnered the attention of the global mining community: "At PDAC 2018, a day was dedicated to presentations on Ecuadorian geological case studies, showcasing the potential of the region to significant foreign investors." Christian Kargl-Simard, president, director and CEO of Adven- tus Zinc Corporation (AZC), was given a global mandate to find the next world-class base metal deposit, with a particular focus on zinc. Backed by two major royalty companies and two private equity groups, AZC spent one year looking extensively at over 220 zinc re- lated opportunities globally, which was whittled down to a shortlist of six opportunities. Of these six projects, AZC executed on its Ecua- dorian target, the high-grade copper-gold-zinc Curipamba project, in partnership with Salazar Resources, providing AZC with first-mover advantage in Ecuador for making new discoveries. "We strongly be- lieve that the best bang-for-your-buck in exploration right now is in Ecuador," declared Kargl-Simard, before expanding on the reasoning behind investing in the Curipamba project: "The Curipamba project

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