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Beating the Complex Ore Challenges of Ozernoye by Using Isamill

Glencore Technology and Hatch are helping Ozernoye to develop a mining operation in Buryatia, Russia. The mining and processing operation would produce zinc and lead concentrates.

Ozernoye’s Grigory Koldunov said the company is preparing the area for the Ozernoye polymetallic mine and concentrator in the Yeravninsky region, 60 km away from the Sosnovo-Ozerskoye regional centre.

"We’ll start mining works and stripping waste by November. Expected stripping volume by the end of the year will exceed 350 000m3 of waste", said Koldunov. In November, the company will begin the construction of temporary roads and a tailings storage facility.

Glencore Technology’s Adam Price said the ore mineralogy at the site was remarkably similar to Glencore’s McArthur River project which originally brought about the need to create the IsaMill ultrafine grinding technology which turns 25 this year.

“Ozernoye’s mineralogy is complex, and it’s going to need the right flowsheet to improve the recovery and concentrate quality and therefore ensure the economic viability of the project”, said Price.  He said the fine-grained lead zinc ore at the Australian operation made for an obvious benchmark.

This year, Ozernoye has been embarking on mining, capital works and construction of infrastructure facilities: tailing dam, water distribution system, pit stripping, and camp expansion.  Major construction of the plant's facilities is planned for 2020-2022 and the company plans to reach design capacity of 8Mtpa in 2024.

In September, Glencore Technology worked with Hatch, AMC and Ozernoye to finish a geotechnical drilling program, test work and analysis. The camp was recommissioned, and the company began clearing the site for construction. Capital mine development and drill and blast works have started to provide contractors with structural materials and to begin stripping.

But the main challenge with the Ozernoye deposit is the complex composition of the ore.  The task of the current geotechnical and test work program is to design and develop the flowsheet.

Glencore’s McArthur River Mine in Northern Australia contains a complex ore that remained uneconomical until the IsaMill was created to produce a steep particle size distribution without needing internal screens or closed circuit cyclones. The horizontal plug-flow design prevented short circuiting and provided for a reliable and easy to operate technology.

The original 1994 IsaMills are still operating at McArthur River Mine, but the IsaMill technology has been refined to occupy a small footprint, very high availability and significant energy efficiency.



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