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Agua Rica



  • Argentina
  • Copper
  • Project

world location

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Agua Rica is located 25 km north of the town of Andalgalá in the province of Catamarca, Argentina.

The Agua Rica deposit is a large medium grade copper, molybdenum, gold porphyry deposit with a polymetallic epithermal overprint. The mineralogy is complex and highly variable.

The deposit was divided into three main ore zones (Seca Norte, Quebrada Minas and Trampeadero) and seven main ore types have been identified based on their metallurgical characteristics: two 'clean' and five 'dirty'. At 0.4% copper cut-off grade contains 586 Mt at 0.63% copper, 0.037% Mo and 0.26 g/t gold.

The deposit is to be developed as a conventional open pit mining operation using shovels and a fleet of 290t haul trucks. It is envisioned to produce an annual average of 526,000 t of copper concentrates containing 136,000 t of copper and 124,600 ounces of gold and 13,750 t of molybdenum concentrates containing 7,150 t of molybdenum over the life of the mine.

The process starts at the mine with twin relocatable primary gyratory 60-113 crushers, one dedicated to ore and one dedicated to waste. The crushed envisioned to produce ore is then transported to the 270,000 t coarse ore stockpile (90,000 t live) located near the process plant. The waste rock is conveyed to the Cazadero valley near the mill for disposal by stackers.

The primary grinding will be performed using a single circuit of one 40 ft diameter SAG mill and two 26 ft diameter ball mills in closed circuit with cyclones. The grinding circuit will process 90,000 tpd to grind to 80% passing 150 µm. The pulp will pass through a rougher, regrind and cleaning flotation circuit, to produce a bulk copper/gold/molybdenum concentrate. This concentrate is sent to the copper/gold/molybdenum separation circuit where the molybdenum will be separated by flotation to form a saleable molybdenum concentrate.

The molybdenum concentrate will be thickened, filtered, dried and bagged for road transport, assumed to be a facility in Chile. The tailings from the molybdenum separation circuit will be the final copper-gold concentrate.

The copper concentrate will be pumped through a 213 km concentrate pipeline to a filter plant located next to the NCA rail line at Tucuman. The plant will be a stand alone filter plant with its own offices, warehouse and tree farm. The filtered concentrate will be loaded into rail cars and transported to the port facilities at Rosario on the Paraná River.

Tailings will be dry stacked in an impoundment area in the Cazadero valley, located near the mill in a desert area with limited rainfall. The same valley will be used to stack waste rock from the mine. The waste rock is potentially acid generating and the containment provided by the valley will assist in managing any water that runs off during storm events.

Power for the project will come from the national grid.

The water supply for the project will come from an underground water resource in the Campo El Arenal.

Location Summary

  • Nearest Landmark: San Miguel de Tucuman
  • Distance from Landmark: 126Km
  • Direction from Landmark: WSW
  • Latitude: 27deg  13Min S
  • Longitude: 66deg  24Min W
  • Satellite Image: Click to View »

pit design

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Ownership Summary

  • Name: Yamana Gold Inc.
  • Interest: 100%
  • Note: Public
Reference:22 Nov 07
If you have more recent, or more accurate, information on Agua Rica, contact us at projectupdate@infomine.com.
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