The successful commissioning of the inline leach reactor (ILR) 10000 Batch Manual at the Ares Mine in Peru scores some world-first honours. It is the largest batch machine commissioned in the world to date and is the first one that is treating high-grade silver gold flotation concentrates. The Ares site is situated 5,014m above sea level in the Andes Mountains.
The staff at Gekko Systems is proud of the smooth commissioning process and the results that are being recorded. “The plant is achieving better results than were achieved in the laboratory on the same material, with overall recoveries of 98.5%,” says Gekko’s intensive leach specialist, Nick Katsikaros.
The project involved close collaboration between Gekko; the Peruvian agent, Jose Palomino; and Hochschild Mining -Victor Delgardo and Walter Montoya. Hochschild and Gekko combined their technical expertise to understand and control the chemistry involved in leaching complex silver minerals. The result is a plant which is delivering benefits on many levels to Hochschild Mining.
The plant uses the ILR to leach large batches of fine, high-grade, flotation concentrates. It is designed to treat 9t/day of concentrate from the nearby Explorador Mine.
“The Gekko system is unique in that it allows the mining company to produce their own metal doré,” reports Nick Katsikaros. “They can maintain control over the entire process on site from recovery through to the production of pure product. By eliminating the need to sell the product as
concentrate, cost variables can be avoided in the areas associated with processing the concentrate, such as transport, insurance, security, payment timing and treatment at the refinery.”
“A further saving is achieved as there is a much smaller quantity of product leaving the mine, which means reduced transport costs. The bottom line is that the mining company gets the full value for their product, now.”