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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Silver: Latest News: September 18th 2008


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:: Gekko Systems Sells Additional Five ILRs to San Josť

Gekko Systems has announced that South American mining company, Minera Santa Cruz, has ordered five InLine Leach Reactors (ILRs) for its San Josť mining project in Santa Cruz province, Argentina. The order comprises Gekko Systems' innovative ILRs, purpose-designed silver electrowinning cells, and associated equipment.

Minera Santa Cruz, jointly owned by Hochschild Mining Argentina Corporation (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hochschild Mining PLC and Minera Andes SA), commenced gold and silver mining operations during 2007. Hochschild Mining PLC utilizes Gekko Systems' ILRs for its Selene silver and gold mining operation in Peru. Gekko also installed a direct electrowinning system for the recovery of silver and gold.

Current processing plant capacity at San Josť is 265,000 tonnes per annum. Minera Santa Cruz recently advised the market of its intention to double capacity during 2008. The order for five additional Gekko Systems' ILRs will supplement that expansion.

Gekko Systems' technological and design ingenuity combined with Hochschild's gold and silver mining expertise has produced unprecedented recovery rates from flotation concentrates. The San Jose joint venture set ILR target recovery rates for gold at 96% and target recovery rates for silver at 97%. Gold and silver recovery rates at San Josť are now consistently meeting target expectations. Since opening in 2007, ILR recovery rates for the Selene mine have achieved 98% for both silver and gold. "Extracting silver from flotation concentrates at such high recovery rates, and therefore being able to produce silver dore on site, provides mining companies with considerable market advantage", said Sandy Gray, Technical Director of Gekko Systems.

"Traditionally, silver concentrates are sold to smelters. Producers are therefore exposed to fluctuations in international market prices for silver; to smelter processing timetables over which they have little control; and to payment schemes determined by end-of-smelter processing schedules", said Mr. Gray. "Gekko Systems' ILRs can eliminate these problems by returning on-site control of production processes to mining companies such as Minera Santa Cruz".

Other savings associated with Gekko Sytems' advanced technologies include more favourable transport, insurance, security and refinery charges; removal of after-processing payment uncertainties; and increased production outcomes.

"Gekko Systems offers innovative, cost-effective solutions for mining companies", said Mr. Gray. "As importantly, our ILRs and associated silver electrowinning cells represent a step-change in gold and silver concentrate recovery".

"We are delighted that the extensive collaboration between Gekko Systems, Hochschild Mining PLC and Minera Santa Cruz has resulted in this order. As importantly, we are very pleased with the endorsement such an order provides for Australian ingenuity and knowhow. We wish Minera Santa Cruz well and look forward to further associations with owners Hochschild Mining PLC and Minera Andes", said Mr. Gray.




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