GoGold's Tailings Project Delivers Strong 2Q20 ResultsBy Alejandro Ehrenberg | Wed, 07/15/2020 - 13:10
GoGold Resources reported 2Q20 production results for its Parral tailings project in Chihuahua. The Parral project is an example of the industry trend to reprocess historic tailings.
GoGold’s tailings project is named after the city of Parral, where it is located. The company identified a 300-year-old tailings heap dumped in the city as a result of historical mining activities. GoGold partnered with Parral’s government and began moving 20 million tons of tailings from the city center to a modern leach facility in the outskirts.
“We are doing something quite different in the industry. There are many heap leaching companies in the world but none for tailings at such a large scale. When we started, we faced issues as we were the first ones to experiment with this method. There was a lot of trial and error over a period of two and a half years. We finally were able to optimize the leaching process and find a balance in cyanide. Currently, the operation generates US$700,000 of free cashflow per month,” said GoGold’s President and CEO Brad Langille in an interview with Mexico Business News.
GoGold’s 2Q20 production results at Parral amount to 504,444 Ag eq oz (270,044oz of silver, 1,914oz of gold and 104 tons of copper). The company said that production in the quarter was only reduced by 16 percent compared to the previous quarter, despite being impacted by a partial shutdown of Parral due to COVID-19. While leaching of material on the heap leach continued throughout the quarter, stacking of fresh material was reduced but has since returned to pre-shutdown stacking rates, with monthly production now approaching pre-COVID levels. “In spite of the COVID-19-related shutdown at Parral for part of the quarter, we were able to achieve exceptional results. With the increase in realized silver price for the quarter of approximately US$1.50/oz, there was minimal economic impact at Parral. We expect to see similar site cashflows as in the previous quarter," stated Langille.
Halyard, a Toronto-based engineering company, is undertaking another innovative tailings reprocessing project. Located in Newfoundland, Canada, the tailings are located in a dam from a mine that stopped operating in 1986. Halyard partnered with a private company and the local government to dry out the dam and extract value from the tailings. “Halyard’s engineers lowered the water level in the dam. We then designed a machine to dig up the tailings for processing. We dry the tailings, mix them again with water and, by means of gravity separation and flotation, we extract barite and residual sulfide material. Finally, we take the processed tailings and safely redeposit them in a different area of the existing tailings dam. In the future, they can be stored in a dry stacking method,” explained Halyard President Justin Taylor in an interview with Mexico Business News.
One of the minerals that Halyard is helping to recover in Newfoundland is barite, which is used in the oil and gas industry as a weighting material in the formulation of drilling mud. The barite is supplied to Newfoundland’s vibrant offshore oil and gas industry. Taylor points out that this can be a major opportunity for Mexico, too. “Miners in Mexico can benefit enormously from a project like this. Barite recovered from tailings can then be delivered to the local offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico and South America. Barite is commonly associated with zinc and lead operations. Mexico is a major producer of both minerals.”