Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2019

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 33 of 115

REGIONAL NEWS - ASIA 32 E&MJ • JUNE 2019 Alrosa Advances 2 Major Projects at Aikhal Division Russian diamond mining company Alrosa has begun open-pit mining on the Zarya pipe and initiated work to deepen the un- derground Aikhal mine at its Aikhal Mining and Processing Division in central Russia. Development of Zarya deposit has been one of Alrosa's major investment projects, with a total investment of 12 billion rubles (about $180 million at current exchange rates). Production from the deposit will replace depleting stock from the Komso- molsky open pit and looking forward will en- sure stable mine production for the division. Alrosa plans to mine the first 100,000 metric tons (mt) of kimberlite ore from the Zarya pipe in 2019. Expected mine life is 11 years, with an ultimate mine depth about 300 meters (m). Development for mining of the Zarya pipe began in 2016 and took almost three years to complete, including re- moval of 14 million m 3 of overburden; building a roadway, hydraulic engineering structures, and infrastructure facilities; and purchase of technical equipment. At the Aikhal underground mine, Alro- sa has elected to develop the mine from its current maximum depth of 100 m to 400 m below surface and extend mine life until 2044. Capital costs to develop the project are estimated at about 10 bil- lion rubles ($150 million). Project devel- opment will add almost 20 million carats to the Aikhal division's resource base. The main haulage level will be devel- oped at 100 m below surface, with con- struction of mine openings for underly- ing beds beginning in 2020. Extraction at horizons below the 100-m level is planned to begin no later than 2027. Alrosa is the world's largest diamond mining company in terms of carats pro- duced. Company-wide production in 2018 totaled 36.7 million carats and is forecast to increase to 38 million carats in 2019. The Aikhal division accounts for about 30% of the company's production. PFS Supports Myanmar's Starter Pit Development Myanmar Metals has reported the results of a prefeasibility study (PFS) that sup- ports development of a high-grade, 13- year "Starter Pit" at the Bawdwin lead- zinc-silver project in northeast Myanmar. In steady state production, the Starter Pit would become the world's third-largest lead mine, its 10th-largest silver mine, and a globally significant zinc producer. Project development is a joint-venture between Myanmar Metals (51%) and local partners WMM and East Asia Power (Mining) Co. Ltd., each holding a 24.5% interest. The Starter Pit would mine 24.7 mil- lion metric tons (mt), grading 6.4% lead, 168 grams/mt silver, and 3.2% zinc, while leaving the bulk of the Bawdwin project mineral resource un-mined. Capi- tal costs to develop the Starter Pit are es- timated at $267 million, plus a $33 mil- lion contingency. Total operating costs are estimated at $108/mt processed. Project payback is estimated at four years. JORC-compliant probable ore reserves currently stand at 18.4 million mt, repre- senting 74% of the total production from the Starter Pit. The PFS demonstrates potential to be- gin pilot-scale mining operations in 2019 ahead of full-scale mining in 2021. Re- sults of the PFS will be further refined in a definitive feasibility study. Starter Pit mining is scheduled to begin in late 2021 after a 21-month construction period. Myanmar Metals currently contemplates that underground mining operations could begin around year six of the Starter Pit. The conventional differential sulphide flotation processing facility will produce two concentrates, a high-grade lead-silver concentrate and a zinc concentrate, at an average steady state rate of 196,000 mt/y and 93,000 mt/y, respectively. In steady state operation, the plant will process 2 million mt/y of mineralized material. The PFS contemplates transport of the concentrate products on existing roads from the Bawdwin processing plant, via the township of Namtu, past the city of Lashio, across the Chinese border at Ruili, and on to smelters in the vicinity of Dali, China, a total trip of about 420 kilometers (km). PFS Advances Gediktepe Polymetallic Project in Turkey Alacer Gold has reported the results of an updated prefeasibility study (PFS) of the Gediktepe polymetallic project 190 kilo- meters (km) south of Istanbul in western Turkey. The project is owned by Polimet- al, a 50:50 joint-venture company be- tween Lidya Madencilik and Alacer, with Lidya Madencilik as the operator. The Gediktepe orebody contains eco- nomic values of gold, silver, copper and zinc. A sulphide deposit is overlain by oxide ore containing gold and silver that is amenable to leaching. Open-pit mining will extract the oxide ore first, providing cash flow for development of a sulphide plant. The oxide and sulphide ore pro- cessing circuits will share some plant unit operations, with some additional grinding capacity added after the initial two-year oxide processing campaign. The sulphide ore will be processed through a multistage flotation circuit pro- ducing three marketable concentrates. Life-of-mine recovered metals to both doré and concentrates will total 345,000 ounc- es (oz) of gold, more than 8 million oz of silver, 254 million lb of copper, and 626 million lb of zinc. Mine life is projected at 11 years, with project payback in 4.1 years. Oxide ore will be treated at a rate of 1.1 million metric tons per yer (mt/y) through a (Continued on p. 44) A haul truck dumps ore at the Aikhal No. 14 processing plant, which processes about 10 million mt/y.

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