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AGA Mineracao

AGA Mineracao

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Key Facts

Commodity Gold
Location

Minas Gerais, Brazil
Nearest Landmark: BELO HORIZONTE
Distance: 110 Km East from the nearest Landmark
Latitude: 19° 54' (South)
Longitude: 43° 46' (West)

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Owners AngloGold Ashanti Ltd
Operator AGA Mineracao
Production

Gold - 361k oz in 2011

Deposit Type BIF hosted gold deposit
Reserves & Resources

Gold - 338 kt @8.75 g/t gold (Dec 31, 2005, proven & probable reserves)

Mine Type Surface & underground
Mining Method Open pit & various underground mining methods
Processing Method Flotation, CIL & Heap Leaching
Mine Life N.A.
Mining Equipment Truck and shovel
Processing equipment Crushers, grinders, flotation equipment, CIL & Heap leach circuits
Employees 3,825 (2,715 employees + 1,110 contractors) in 2011
Contact Information

Fazenda Sao Bento, s/n , Barra Feliz
Barrao de Cocais,
BRAZIL 35.970-000
Phone:+ 55 31 3837-1744
Fax:+ 55 31 3837-7000

 

Last updated: May 2, 2012

Overview

The wholly owned AGA Mineracao mining complex is located in southeastern Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais, close to the city of Belo Horizonte, with operations in the municipalities of Nova Lima, Sabara and Santa Barbara.

Ore is sourced from the Cuiaba and Lamego underground mines and processed at the Cuiaba and Queiroz plants, while the Corrego do Si­tio open pit mine has a heap-leaching facility.

Reorganisation of the corporate structure was completed during the first half of 2010, combining the Cuiaba/Lamego/Queiroz and the Corrego do Si­tio and Sao Bento operations to capture operating and financial synergies. The new company is called AngloGold Ashanti Corrego do Si­tio Mineracao (AGA Mineracao).

Location

The wholly owned AGA Mineracao mining complex is located in southeastern Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais, close to the city of Belo Horizonte, with operations in the municipalities of Nova Lima, Sabara and Santa Barbara.

Geology and Mineralization

Gold mineralization is localized in the Basal Iron Formation. The Basal Iron Formation is subdivided along strike into 3 portions: Orebody No. 1; Orebody No. 2; and the Sao Bento/Pinta Bem or Orebody No. 3. The Basal Iron Formation has its greatest thickness in the No. 1 Orebody area where it attains 35 m and at least 6 periods of gold/sulphide mineralization are evident. The ore zone is distinctly banded and consists of alternating layers of sulphide and iron carbonates. Gold occurs in close association with sulphides and may be free, on crystal boundaries or enclosed in sulphide grains. 

The banded iron formation (BIF) orebodies in this district have great vertical continuity and have been mined to depths of 2,500 meters along a down dip length of up to 4,800 meters. The BIF ore horizon at Sao Bento has been mined continuously from surface to the current mining depth of 1,100 meters at the 23 rd level. Diamond drill holes have intersected the ore horizon to the 31st level at the Anglogold property boundary. The ore horizon shows unbroken continuity in the deepest drill holes and offers the potential to develop additional ore reserves to depth. Access to deeper ore can be gained from the existing Sao Bento shaft which has the capacity to be deepened to the 31 st level without major changes to the existing hoisting equipment.

Mining & Operation

AngloGold Ashanti Corrego do Sao Mineracao (AGA Mineracao) comprises two operational units, namely the Cuiaba and the Corrego do Si­tio complexes. The Cuiaba complex includes the Cuiaba and Lamego mines and the Cuiaba and Queiroz plants. In operation for 26 years, the Cuiaba mine is principally a cut-and-fill mine accessed by ramp and shaft. Lamego is a new mine developed to mine an underground sulphide ore.

The first stage of the processing of the ore from Cuiaba and Lamego mines is in the gold plant at the Cuiaba complex, where concentrate is produced. The material is then transported 15km by aerial ropeway to the Queiroz plant where milling, flotation, roasting, leaching, precipitation and refining occur. Total capacity of the complete circuit is 1.65Mt/year and recoveries of 93% are achieved.

The Corrego do Si­tio operation comprises one surface (oxide) and two underground (sulphide) mines, as well as a heap leach pad and sulphide plant, the latter originally acquired from Eldorado late in 2008 and since refurbished.

At AGA Mineracao, production in 2011 was 361,000oz, 7% higher than the prior year. The higher output followed the ramp-up at Lamego and the start of production from Corrego do Si­tio. Production was, however, negatively impacted by lower tonnage at Cuiaba, due mainly to geotechnical and fleet availability issues.

Given the increased mining depth to more than 1,100m at Cuiaba by the end of 2011 and the resultant rise in working temperatures, a refrigeration plant was commissioned to service the deeper areas of the mine.

At Lamego, where tonnages improved by 15%, the drill method was changed to cross-cut instead of driving the ramp down to the mine's deepest levels so as to improve knowledge of the orebody at depth. Now, more than 2.5 years of reserves are estimated to be available at current production rates, following development of ore drives from level 3.1 to level 4 at the Carruagem orebody. This enables a high level of  mining flexibility.

While the scheduled maintenance shutdown at the pyrometallurgy plant at Queiroz was undertaken during the year, there was an unexpected shutdown of Plant A to undertake screening of the catalyst bed and removal of the roasters. Three new flotation cells were added to the Cuiabá plant and the wall of the tailings dam was lifted to cope with incremental production.

At Corrego do Si­tio, the underground sulphide mine was developed and the orebodies prepared for the start of production during 2011. This mine had reached production capacity of 40% by year-end. The underground mine produced 171,000t in 2011. The metallurgical plant was commissioned in January 2012. The oxide heap leach plant improved its productivity 18% by increasing bench heights on the heap leach by 1m to 7m.

Processing

Ore is treated by conventional grinding and milling in an autogenous mill and subsequently processed by flotation to separate the gold bearing sulfides from the tailings. Concentrate is treated by an oxidation process, either through two bioxidation reactors using the BIOX process and/or through 2 autoclaves.

Gold is recovered in a six-stage CIL circuit to produce dore. 

Environment & Community

AngloGold Ashanti is the first mining company in Brazil to receive Social Responsibility (NBR 16001) certification according to the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABTN). ABTN is a private non-profit organisation and a founding member of the International Organisation for Standardisation, the Pan-American Standards Commission and the Asociacion Mercosur de Normalizacion.

ISO 14001 environment certification was maintained during 2010.

Corrego do Si­tio II, the former Sao Bento mine, has a forest reserve which may have to be relocated in order to receive permission from the authorities to conduct exploration work on surface. A request has been submitted to the authorities and is under review.

New regulations have increased the management and cost in respect of the mine closure plan, land impacted by mining, disturbed land, taxes for water consumption, environmental compensation for the new project and especially for the impact of land clearance.

The necessary permits for the underground mine expansion at Corrego do Si­tio and the licence for the raising of the wall of the Cuiaba dam were granted by the Environmental Agency.

AGA Mineracao has had no reportable environmental incidents for five years. The company was awarded the PMGA Environmental Management Minas Gerais Award.

The Brazilian operations support environmental education programmes and social investments in the communities where it operates. The company has an open-door policy with communities, communicating operational and environment-related information. Communities are informed in advance of the funds allocated to community investments and the host communities themselves participate in the selection of the projects. The company also invites all stakeholders, including communities, companies, suppliers, employees, NGOs and local government, to participate in an annual forum to promote discussion regarding social policy and practices. The aim of this dialogue is to identify opportunities for improvement.

 

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