The Gualcamayo project is located in the San Juan province of Argentina. It is situated between 1,600m and 2,600m elevation within a semi-arid zone of the Andean Precordillera. The project is wholly owned by Minas Argentinas S.A., a subsidiary of Yamana Gold Inc.
The project configuration will be an open pit mining operation with a heap leach pad and recovery of gold by a carbon-in-column adsorption desorption recovery (ADR) plant. Ore will be delivered from the pit via a 300 m vertical ore pass to a primary crusher station located underground. The crushed ore will then be conveyed to a secondary crushing plant located on the surface, crushed to–25mm, and then conveyed onto the leach pad using a retreat stacking system. Design throughput of the ore-handling systems is 1,250 tph. The operation has an expected ten year mine life.
The major components of the project development include an open pit mine, ore-pass, ore-crushing and conveyor-transport systems, leach pad facilities, an ADR plant, a 132 kV power line and other supporting infrastructure.
The Hatch scope of services for the Gualcamayo Project includes detailed engineering and assistance to procurement.
- The open pit, which is actually a near-vertical slice in the side of a mountain, incorporates a 300m vertical ore pass from the pit bottom, which gradually shortens as the pit deepens.
- The project schedule considers a 12 month schedule from the start of detail engineering to plant startup. This fast track schedule involves concurrent construction activities from day one, and up to ten parallel critical paths to be managed throughout the course of the project.