Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 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 46 of 91

PERU GOLD APRIL 2018 • E&MJ 45 The company's median guidance for the mine for 2018 is 75,000 oz, down 41% yoy. Tantahuatay to Break Out in 2018 Compañía Minera Coimolache S.A.'s Tan- tahuatay reportedly has vast reserves of low-grade ore. The company reports re- veal little about strategy regarding the marginal grade, but do reveal that with steadily rising production, the mine al- most annually outproduces La Zanja at significantly lower CAS. Of the mines covered in this report, it is the one with the largest planned yoy increase in pro- duction for 2018. Buenaventura, 40.01% owner of Coimolache, manages Tantahuatay, an open-pit operation sited in the Hualgayoc and Chugur districts in the Hualgayoc province in the Cajamarca region. The company takes credit for discovering the sulphide deposit. Two pits, Tantahuatay 2 and Ciénaga Norte, reportedly exploit the deposit. The ore is loaded with excavators and trucked to the nearby heap (cyanida- tion) leach pad. Product is processed by zinc precipitation and activated carbon. "All of the production at Coimolache is turned into doré bars (gold and silver), which are later sold," Buenaventura re- ported. Operations commenced in 2011 and the company reported that, including 2016's numbers, the mine had produced a grand total of 800,000 oz gold. In 2017, total gold output increased less than 1% yoy. Aside from a 4% yoy increase for 2016, the mine's production has grown at less than 1% per year ev- ery year since 2012. The 2017 total of 152,000 oz is up 7% over the 2012 total of 141,000 oz. AISC for 2017 hit $758/oz, up rough- ly 20% from $645/oz, in 2016. Cost of sales reportedly increased 11% in 2017 and selling expenses fell 16%. The miner spent $13 million on exploration in op- erating units in 2017, down 5% yoy. In 2016, exploration was primarily limited to diamond drilling in the two pits for block modeling purposes, and to convert resources to reserves at a planned open pit copper operation targeting a lower de- posit, Buenaventura reported. (Indicated copper resources were at 488 million mt as of January 2017. The deposit could contain as much as 3.5 million oz gold as a biproduct, the company reported.) Sustaining capital expenses shot up 48% yoy in 2017 to $40 million. Some of that was slated for a 2016 project involving upgrading the mine's main substation to increase its capacity from 3.5 to 7 megawatts (MW), installing a 40-MW transformer in the Cerro Corona substation, and running a 22,000-volt line between the two substations, the company reported. As of January 2017, proven and prob - able reserves were between 72 and 81 million mt at 0.39 g/mt gold, depending on the company report. Effective this year, the mine will import ore for pro- cessing. "In February 2018, Coimolache signed a contract with Cerro Corona to purchase oxide material," Buenaventura reported. "Based on this agreement, Co- imolache will purchase 6.6 million mt of ore at $5.5/mt over a 3-year period." Median production guidance for 2018 is 170,000 oz, a 13% increase yoy. SHAPE

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