Every so often a presentation at a conference takes your breath away and leaves you amazed at the ability of the speaker and their colleagues. This happened today as a sat listening to Joel Carrasco of Ausenco present on a paper entitled Development of an integrated mine waste management plan of the metates gold-silver project, Durango and Sinaloa States, Mexico. To get the paper, you will have to get the proceedings of the Tailings and Mine Waste Management 2013 conference or in due course download the presentation that I refer to from the website of the conference–I told it will take week or two to load pdfs of the presentations.
From the paper abstract:
Chesapeake Gold Corp. is currently advancing its 100% owned Metates gold-silver project to the full feasibility stage. Over the anticipated 25-yr project life, approximately 1.2 billion tonnes of waste rock (almost 75% of which is classified as acid generating (AG) or potentially acid generating (PAG)) and 700 million tonnes of floatation tailings will be produced and managemed togetheer in an integrated waste management storage facility (ISF). Tailings will be delivered to the ISF at a nominal daily rate of 103,000 tonnes. [The waste management] plan incorporates thickened and filtration of the floatation tailings slurry to produce a low-moisture-content waste stream that is amenable to direct co-disposal with the AG and PAG waste rock placed wihtin a stable shell constructed of non=AG waste.
This is a grand scheme and the engineers at Ausenco have come up with grander engineering concepts and designs to implement it.
I am not sure, but this must surely be one of the largest planned filter press dry stacks on the drawing boards. Maybe El Morro will be bigger. Let us check.
I am impressed by the amount of engineering done for what is still in essence the pre-feasibility stage of the project, which admittedly will be big and controversial. And as I note above I am impressed by the ingenuity and great engineering approach they have come up with. We will watch this with interest.