Hochschild’s Ares mine in Peru is expanding the size of its plant and has ordered five additional Gekko Systems’ InLine Leach Reactors (ILR5000 Batch Manual) to add to its two existing ILR5000s. Once installed, Ares will boast the largest intensive leach application worldwide. It is the first application on silver flotation concentrates.
Hochschild intends to increase metal production at the site, situated 4,900 metres above sea level in the Peruvian Andes, to capitalise on the current high price of silver and the recent expansion of its Explorador mining operation.
Gekko Product Manager, Nick Katsikaros, is delighted with the order: “It is our experience that the South American region is a leader in the adoption and successful application of new technology.
The mining community is well educated, sites generally have strong operating skills and there is a positive attitude to change. Hochschild’s Ares mine is an excellent example. The technical and operating team have achieved excellent recoveries – over 99% – in a new application of a proven technology.”
Hochschild will benefit by having the capacity to produce metal dore on site, giving the company control on site over the entire process from mining through to the production of metal. It can sell the product as doré, eliminating the need to sell concentrate to a refinery.
Overall cost savings will be achieved through eliminating costs associated with selling concentrates including transport, insurance, security, payment timing and charges at the refinery.
In the current market, with strong silver prices, the bottom line is that Hochschild will now get full value for their silver production.
Gekko’s ILR has proven itself to be the best metallurgical processing solution for producing silver from flotation concentrates and, as a result, increasing production outcomes. It is the only intensive leach system that can effectively leach fine flotation concentrate.
The unique combination of Gekko’s process chemistry and design capability combined with Hochschilds’ expertise in silver has made the application possible. Furthermore, the robust and unique design of the ILR has resulted in outstanding operability and recovery results.