Image: Fruta del Norte Project: Underground Gold-Silver Mine with high grade of gold

Minerals & Metals1 min read

Fruta del Norte Project: Underground Gold-Silver Mine with high grade of gold

Southeast Equador, South America
Lundin Gold
2016 - 2018
Gold; Precious Metals

The Fruta Del Norte project is a high-grade gold project in south eastern Ecuador. The project consists of an underground mine, accessed by dual declines with portals near the process facility to the northwest of the deposit.

Client requirements

The mine will produce 3,500 tpd supplying a Gravity, Float, Leach (GFL) process plant. The plant will produce gold-silver rich concentrate and doré which will contain approximately 70% and 30% of the gold respectively.

Ausenco performed Basic Engineering and is currently performing the Detail Engineering of the process plant.

Project solutions and approach

  • Changing process plant site selection
  • Reducing the process plant footprint and bulk quantities
  • Modifying the inline SAG Feeding system to a 90 degrees SAG Mill feed
  • Investigating crushed ore storage and reclaim options
  • Physical layout based on process natural flow
  • Layout takes advantage of the topography, more gravity flow instead of pumping
  • All reagents located close to injection point, minimizing long hazardous piping
  • Compact layout allows using tower crane outside of leach/CIL area
  • Right angle SAG mill feed (eliminate one pebble recirculation conveyor)

Outcomes and achievements

The key features/outcome of the optimized layout are:

  • Coarse ore conveyor length substantially reduced
  • Reduced pipe rack and piping length
  • Five (5) set of pumps and two (2) single pumps eliminated
  • Four (4) pump boxes and two (2) tanks eliminated
  • Cyanide destruction surge tank and agitator eliminated
  • Mill pump box volume reduced by 90%