Pirquitas is Silver Standard’s recently commissioned silver, tin and zinc mine located in Jujuy, a province situated at 4,500m in the Argentinian Andes. Gekko designed and installed a pre-concentration module consisting of six IPJ2400s to increase the throughput of the milling and flotation circuit.
The Gekko inline pressure jigs will pre-concentrate ore allowing a substantial increase in the plant feed rate prior to the ball mills. This is achieved by passing plus 2mm-12mm crushed material through the jigging circuit, where the lighter (barren) material reports directly to tails. The total feed is reduced by 50% after the inline pressure jig’s treatment, recovering over 90% of the values in the concentrate stream. This allows an increase in the plant feed rate without economically compromising recovery.
Prior to the inline jig process, the crushed material is screened and water added allowing it to be pumped to the jigs. The concentrate from the jigs is then de-watered before reporting to the grinding mill, where the water is recycled back to the beginning of the process, making it almost self-sufficient in water use. In the design process, a pump specialist was contracted to select appropriate pumps and motors to compensate the effects of the high altitude.
Significant capital and operating costs savings are achieved with this pre-concentration module, through the fully automated operating system, low power usage and efficient re-cycling of water. The ease of construction has allowed for faster commissioning and start-up of operations.