First gold at Goldcorp's Pyrite Leach Project

First gold has been achieved at the Pyrite Leach Project (PLP) at Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine in Mexico
First gold at Goldcorp's Pyrite Leach Project First gold at Goldcorp's Pyrite Leach Project First gold at Goldcorp's Pyrite Leach Project First gold at Goldcorp's Pyrite Leach Project First gold at Goldcorp's Pyrite Leach Project

Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine at night

Commissioning commenced in the September quarter of 2018 and the PLP is now processing 100% of the existing plant tailings. The PLP plant is operating 24 hours a day and is continuing the planned ramp-up process.

David Garofalo, president and CEO of Goldcorp, said: "PLP was a major investment decision for Goldcorp and one of the first that went through our Goldcorp Investment Framework. We are very pleased with the results in completing the project both ahead of budget and schedule. We are already moving forward with a post investment review where we can take our lessons learned to continue to improve our framework and overall capital allocation strategy."

With a focus on safety and reliability, the PLP has been delivered with over 9.5 million site-hours, zero lost time incidents (LTIs) and an all injury frequency rate (AIFR) of 0.09. The project has also been 100% constructed by a Mexican workforce.

The Pyrite Leach Project is expected to recover approximately 35% of the gold and 42% of the silver currently reporting to the tailings and is expected to add production of over 1Moz of gold and 45Moz of silver over the current life of the mine. The PLP plant processes the existing plant tails, feeding a sequential flotation and leach circuit with precious metals recovered through a Merrill Crowe process, producing doré as the final product.

Tails from the new plant will report to the existing tailings storage facility. As the plant is ramped up to achieve design recovery, there will be ongoing optimisation of the circuit chemistry and regrind performance.

The carbon pre-flotation circuit (CPP), which is integral to the performance of the PLP and existing plant, was commissioned in the June quarter as planned. The circuit has treated 6Mt of high-carbon ore and is now operating and exceeding initial performance expectations. The completion of the CPP de-risks not only stockpile material, it also enhances flexibility to sequence ores and has the capability to process the complex organic carbon ore types remaining in the reserves. CPP achieved commercial production on October 1. 

The CPP circuit currently consists of three stages of flotation to remove organic carbon from the cyclone overflow prior to the existing lead flotation circuit.