Goldcorp has achieved the first gold pour at the Pyrite Leach Project (PLP) at the Peñasquito mine in northwest Mexico, two quarters ahead of schedule and 9% under budget.
According to Goldcorp, commissioning of the Pyrite Leach Project began in the third quarter and currently it is processing 100% of the existing plant tailings.
The Pyrite Leach Project is anticipated to recover nearly 35% of the gold and 42% of the silver, which currently sit in the tailings as waste. Goldcorp also expects the plant to add production of more than a million ounces of gold and 45 million ounces of silver through the current life of the mine.
The Pyrite Leach plant is being used for processing the existing plant tails, feeding a sequential flotation and leach circuit with precious metals, which are recovered by the Merrill Crowe process to produce doré as the final product.
Tails from the new processing plant will report to the existing tailings storage facility, said Goldcorp.
The company further said that the carbon pre-flotation circuit (CPP), which is key to the performance of the Pyrite Leach plant and existing plant, was placed into operations in the second quarter as planned. The CPP has treated six million tons of high-carbon ore till date.
Goldcorp president and CEO David Garofalo said: “PLP was a major investment decision for Goldcorp and one of the first that went through our Goldcorp Investment Framework.
“We are very pleased with the results in completing the project both ahead of budget and schedule. We are already moving forward with a post investment review where we can take our lessons learned to continue to improve our framework and overall capital allocation strategy.”
The Peñasquito mine, which is located nearly 780km northwest of Mexico City, produces gold, silver, lead and zinc through an open mine operation.
Goldcorp had previously announced an investment of $420m on the Peñasquito mine to increase its production, which in turn is part of a larger plan to boost the company’s production by 20% by 2021.