Mine Design of a Gold and Silver Project in Argentina

Cerro Moro is a gold and silver mining project developed by Yamana Gold in the Santa Cruz Province of southern Argentina. The project contains a number of narrow vein high-grade deposits, which will be mined using both open-pit and underground mining methods. The plant’s capacity is 1,000 tonnes per day and includes crushing, grinding and flotation.

Client: Yamana Gold
Location: Santa Cruz Province, Argentina

OUR EXPERTS’ SOLUTIONS

After completing a feasibility study in 2015, Yamana implemented an infill drilling program and mandated BBA to update the open-pit and underground mine designs and to prepare a new optimized mine plan using the revised mineral resource estimate. BBA was mandated to perform the following tasks, which were completed using 10 block models and resulted in the design and scheduling of 14 open-pit and 6 underground mines:

  • Assessing the cut-off grades for the open-pit and underground mines
  • Estimating mining dilution and ore loss
  • Carrying out the pit optimization for the open pits and determining the economic transition to underground mining
  • Designing the open-pit and underground mines
  • Preparing an integrated life-of-mine plan for the open-pit and underground mines, including the ore stockpiling strategy
  • Designing and sequencing the waste rock piles
  • Selecting and estimating the production fleet and workforce requirements
  • Estimating mine capital and operating costs

IN THE WORDS OF OUR EXPERT…

“The most interesting aspect of this project was the way we estimated mining dilution and ore loss for the open pits. We used Mineable Stope Optimizer, an application originally developed for stope design in underground mines. We have since repeated the same method for a narrow vein open‑pit lithium deposit in northern Québec.”

Jeffrey Cassoff, P.Eng., Team Leader, Mining Engineering

IN NUMBERS

  • 1,000 tonnes per day capacity

  • Fourteen open-pit and six underground mines

  • Annual production of 135,000 ounces of gold and 6.7 million ounces of silver

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