semenovsky tailings project - republic of bashkiria, russia
Project at a glance:
- Recovering gold and silver from 2.9m tonnes of surficial mine waste grading circa 1.2g/t gold
- Preferred processing route is a straightforward column leach without pre-treatment of ore
- Building of plant may commence in mid 2018
plant at Semenovsky operated from 1943 to 1998 processing oxide ores chiefly from
four local deposits around the Semenovsky Mine in the Republic of Bashkiria. It
operated as a gravity concentration plant followed by cyanide leaching of
gravity tails with total historic processed ore amounting to 3m tonnes at
gold grades ranging from 4 to 20g/t. Several generations of exploration drilling
and metallurgical testwork have demonstrated the potential of further gold
recovery from the plant tailings.
'Mine Tailing's' or simply 'Tails' refers to the waste generated by beneficiating ores through a processing plant. Material is typically dispensed as a slurry of water, fine grained sand and silt, and unrecovered valuable metals, in this case gold and silver. A number of factors contribute to encouraging economics of reprocessing these deposits:
- Vastly reduced mining costs as the material is on surface, free digging, requires limited transport and has already been ground and homogenised
- No increase in mine footprint makes permitting process more straightforward
- Application of modern metallurgy and re-processing technologies recovers more metal
- Less geological risk associated with the resource as grade and volumes are already well established
Since undertaking this project, in a joint venture with Metal Tiger PLC, Eurasia have contracted and received local ministerial approvals for a TEO (similar in scope to a pre-feasability document) and a reserves calculation. These reserves, approved as Russian C2; 2.99million tonnes of ore grading 1.18g/t Gold and 16.44g/t Silver, are the maiden reserves for the project. Eurasia undertook a metallurgical sample drill program in early 2016. 5 drill holes testing to the bottom of the dam were split to meter intervals and sent to SGS labs Chita. This metallurgical work is designed to test gold recovery by cyanide leaching, and to give an initial indication as to how a cyanide circuit may be optimised by additional techniques such as grinding, air or oxygen sparging, etc. The location of these holes within the tailings dam are shown in the graphic below.
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Figure 1 : Location of EUA/MTR 2016 Metallurgical sample drill collars.