Mining fleet on its way to Gold Fields’ Salares Norte project in Chile – International Mining

Gold Fields is preparing for development ramp up of its Salares Norte gold project in Chile with the main production fleet starting to make its way to site. The Salares Norte main haulage fleet is composed of 18 Caterpillar 191 t class 789D trucks supplied by Finning. Nine of them will be onsite at the mine in March 2021 while the rest will begin to arrive in 2022. The fleet will be operated by mining contractor IngenierĂ­a Civil Vicente (ICV) with the trucks loaded using large hydraulic shovels.

Mine planning is based on open pit mining to exploit the Brecha Principal Agua Amarga deposits. Production is based on a constant plant throughout rate of 2 Mt/y peak total material movement of 44 Mt/y. During the LOM, 331 Mt will be mined, consisting of 22.2 Mt of ore to the plant 308.8 Mt of waste, resulting in a strip ratio of 13.9:1. Prestripping will be some 50.6 Mt. The gold grade averages 4.96 g/t silver 55.6 g/t.

To improve the project economics, the mine plan is based on an accelerated mining strategy, thus all ore must be stockpiled re-hled to feed the crusher. This strategy will provide flexibility to manage gold silver grades for improved gold recoveries, especially during the first years of operations. With this strategy, the mine plant are decoupled.

Mining will be done on 15 m benches with waste mined in a single pass ore benches split into three 5 m