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Spotlight

Peñasquito

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 08:12

Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine is located in Mazapil, Zacatecas about 140km to the south of Saltillo. It consists of two open pits, Peñasco and Chile Colorado, which both contain gold, silver, lead and zinc in their ore bodies. The property is encompassed within the eastern Mexican fold-belt which is comprised by carbonate and Mesozoic clastic sedimentary units. This world-class deposit is placed over two funnel-shaped breccia pipes and on top of cutting Cretaceous clastic units that overlay a Tertiary felsic intrusive complex. The deposit manifests veinlets and minimal fractures where minerals such as galena, electrum, sphalerite and various silver sulfosalts are held.

The Peñasquito property is currently Mexico’s largest open pit operation and the country’s main gold producer. Exploration works have continued to increase the high grade mantos deposits located underneath the mine’s two pits. Geochemical testing indicated a significant potential for high grade production from the mineralized mantos below the current pits. The elaboration of prefeasibility studies for the concentrate enrichment process project and the pyrite leach project has progressed and will be completed in early 2015. Successful implementation of one or both of these projects has the potential to significantly improve the mine’s overall economics and add to the reserves and resources of Peñasquito. Goldcorp states the mine has an estimated life of 13 years, based on current reserves, which is welcome news for the 3,200 staff and contractors that it employs. The full year production of 2014 was to close at 530,000-560,000oz of gold, while production of silver was to reach a total of 22-25 million ounces, and zinc production was set to reach 135-145 million pounds. The Peñasquito processing plant has a total milling and processing capacity of 130,000 t/d and employs a flotation-and-grinding processing, with two 50,000 t/d sulfide processing lines and a 30,000 t/d high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) circuit.

The Peñasquito project is incorporated in the National Environmental Audit Program and has carried out a comprehensive waste management plan. Due to its geographic location area, Goldcorp has also obtained an operation certificate and a management plan to assist in the reproduction of the endangered white-tailed deer in areas surrounding the mine. Furthermore, the company has rescued and transplanted over 448,000 plants, including 18,000 endangered cactus species. In addition, the nursery is producing approximately 3 million plants per year that will be used in Peñasquito’s future reclamations work. All of these distinctive actions are proof of the efficient and comprehensive environmental management systems that Goldcorp has successfully implemented in this flagship Mexican mine.