Fortuna Silver Mines, Inc. has announced the successful commissioning of the primary and secondary crushing circuits and the beginning of stacking ore on the heap leach pad at the Lindero gold Project, situated in the Province of Salta, Argentina.
The successful commissioning of the primary and secondary crushing circuits and the start of stacking ore on the heap leach pad are key and much awaited milestones at Lindero.
Jorge A. Ganoza, President, CEO, and Director, Fortuna Silver Mines, Inc.
Ganoza continued, “Our project team is delivering on schedule and budget according to the revised plan, despite the challenges and limitations of carrying on construction activities under COVID-19 related constraints. The next upcoming milestone is the start of heap irrigation which is scheduled for the end of August.”
At Lindero, the construction and commissioning activities are progressing as per plan described in Fortuna’s news release dated May 8th, 2020.
- By the end of June 2020, the entire project is 97% complete
- Primary and secondary crushing circuits: Successful commissioning of the crushers has been completed and the ramp-up phase has begun
- Ore stacking: Ore stacking on the first irrigation cell at the heap leach pad started on July 10th, 2020
- Ore irrigation and leaching: Ore irrigation and leaching of the heap is scheduled to begin at the end of August 2020
- First gold pour: This has been scheduled for the end of Q3 of 2020
Ore Crushing and Stacking
As part of the ramp-up phase of the primary and secondary crushing circuits, production will be increased until nominal rates of 18,750 tons per day are realized. Fortuna anticipates that nominal rate of production will be achieved in Q4 of 2020, which includes the agglomeration plant and the tertiary HPGR system.
At the heap leach pad, ore stacking on the preliminary irrigation cell started on July 10th. Heap irrigation is planned to begin at the end of August.
Ore for the purposes of commissioning and initial ramp-up of the crushing circuit, as well as stacking on the heap leach pad, is being obtained from the medium grade coarse ore stockpile inventory, of around 1.0 million tons averaging 0.55 g/t gold.
From July 2020 to December 2020, about 1.7 million to 1.9 million tons of ore have been planned for addition to the leach pad, with an average gold grade of 1.00 to 1.10 g/t.
The predicted stripping ratio for this period is 0.68 to 0.75.
The final construction activities associated with the process ponds and the SART and ADR plants are ongoing with piping and electrical installations advancing as per plan. The ADR plant and process pond electric rooms have been energized. The solution handling system’s pre-commissioning commenced on July 11th, 2020 with the help of a barren pond pumping equipment.
About the Lindero gold Project, Argentina
Construction at Lindero started officially in September 2017. Lindero has been developed as an 18,750 tons per day open pit mine operated by the owner and with a pit life of 13 years depending on current Mineral Reserves.
The crushed ore will be added to a leach pad with the expectant solution pumped to ADR and SART plants before refining and electrowinning, where gold will be poured to doré bars.
The management anticipates cumulative construction capital costs ranging from $314.0 million and $320.0 million according to the updated construction and commissioning plan. This constitutes an increase of 28% from the feasibility estimate of September 2017.