Clean up and new life for the site
Saloro is modifying the current site into a modern, efficient, responsible and sustainable mining and processing operation producing a tungsten rich concentrate product for sale.
Mining operations are to be conducted in and around the existing mining excavation (open pit) making new use of this existing disturbed area.
Preparations are underway for the re-handling, cleaning and reuse for project water requirements, of the acid water which currently partially fills the existing open pit. A treatment facility is in fabrication for the purpose. In this way the project will make use of a resource which is currently of little practical value, ensuring that the project is self-sufficient in its water requirements and is not a burden on other water supply sources in the area.
As part of the construction activities Saloro is cleaning and removing in accordance with applicable legislation, all hazardous materials and areas of contamination existing at the site.
Following receipt of all project permits during 2014 and a comprehensive financing package in mid-2015 Saloro set about completing construction engineering, ordering equipment items for the Processing Plant and infrastructure, and putting all other pre-construction preparations in place (including the placement of 1.5M in environmental bonds with the Castilla y Leon government).
Construction activities are now underway at the site.
A modern and efficient mining operation
With the commencement of production activities in late 2018, conventional open pit mining methods will be used, very similar to that of a quarrying operation, with drilling and breaking of rock, followed by loading of ore and waste using backhoe type excavators into large off-road style dump trucks. These will haul the ore material direct to the main crusher feed for the process plant, whilst the waste rock will be taken to a new waste storage facility on site.
The existing historic main open pit excavation will be extended to the north and south and at depth. Full mine production of 1.1Mtpa will be achieved only in the second year after commencement of production.
A simple and clean processing system
The process plant design allows for the throughput of 1.1 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”) of ore, operating five days per week, to produce ~260,000 mtus of WO3 per annum (at steady state production).
This ore will be processed through a gravity separation plant, which comprises the following three main components or stages:
Crushing only (no grinding) to achieve liberation of the tungsten mineral (scheelite)
Screening of the crushed product at 1mm ahead of a gravity pre-concentration circuit consisting of jigs and spirals to produce a pre-concentrate
A very small clean-up and tabling circuit will exist at the back end of the plant consisting of shaking tables and sulphide flotation to produce a cleaned tungsten mineral product which is dried and packed into bags for shipment
Stages 1 and 2 in the processing will result in most of the initial feed to the plant being discarded as a clean waste product, leaving only a small percentage of feed material going on to be treated in Stage 3. The inert and drained waste product produced at the end of Stage 2 will be mixed with the waste rock from the mine in the new waste storage facility developed at the site. There will be no tailings dam required at the site.
Water used in the process plant will be recycled in closed circuit to prevent wastage and loss of the water resource.
The treatment process uses mostly water and gravity, with very limited usage of simple chemicals.