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MEI Online: Commodities: Metallic Ores: Silver: Latest News: July 14th 2009


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:: San José Expands ILR Installation

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

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 José joint venture set intensive leach ILR target recovery rates for gold and silver at 96% and 97% respectively. These targets are consistently being achieved. Since opening in 2007, ILR recovery rates for the Selene mine have achieved 98% for both silver and gold.

“Extracting silver, as well as gold, via intensive leaching 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 Nick Katsikaros, Technical Specialist at Gekko Systems.

Current processing plant capacity at San José is 265,000 tonnes per annum. Minera Santa Cruz recently advised the market of its intention to double capacity during 2009. The order for five additional Gekko Systems’ ILRs will supplement that expansion.

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. Gekko's electrowinning system was developed particularly for high-volume silver concentrates which incorporate auto sludge harvesting. In combination with the high efficiency of the ILR, a substantially higher overall recovery is obtained.




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