Pyrites Plant

Ownership: 100% Fresnillo plc
Location: Zacatecas, Fresnillo District
Facilities: Leaching plant (Saucito mine), flotation plants (Saucito, Fresnillo mines)
Commercial Production: 2Q18 (phase I), 2H20 (phase II)
Anticipated Production: Annual average 3.5 moz silver and 13.0 koz gold
Capex: US$ 155 million

The Pyrites plant is expected to improve overall recoveries of gold and silver, and therefore maximise production in the Fresnillo district; expected to total an average of 3.5 moz silver and 13 koz gold per year once both phases are operating at full capacity.

This project was divided into two phases, the first phase consisted of the iron flotation circuit and pyrites leaching plant at the Saucito mine, which was commissioned mid-2018. The second phase, a 14,000 tpd tailings flotation plant at the Fresnillo mine, is under construction and is expected to be concluded in 2H20. 

The second phase, a flotation circuit, will treat the ongoing and historical tailings from the Fresnillo mine to produce a pyrites concentrate which will be sent to a filtration plant and then on to the leaching plant at Saucito, the final part of the process to produce the precipitates. Commissioning of phase II of the Pyrites plant set for 2H 2020.

Pyrites Plant (Phase I)

 

2Q21

1Q21

% change

2Q20

Pyrites concentrates processed (t)

48,523

41,760

16.0

39,049

         

Production

       

Silver (koz)

167

137

22.3

249

Gold (oz)

721

678

6.4

924

         

Ore grades

       

Silver (g/t)

147

143

3.3

261

Gold (g/t)

1.56

1.64

(4.5)

2.10

2Q21

  • Quarterly silver production increased 22.3% vs. 1Q21 due to an increased volume and higher ore grade of pyrite concentrates processed from the Saucito mine.
  • Quarterly gold production increased 6.4% vs. 1Q21 due to a higher volume of pyrite concentrates processed, partially offset by a lower ore grade and recovery rate.

  • Quarterly and first half silver and gold production decreased vs. 2Q20 and 1H20 due to lower ore grades from Saucito’s flotation plant and lower recovery rates, mitigated by a higher volume of pyrite concentrates processed.

  • In 2021, we continue to expect production from this plant at Saucito to remain unchanged year-on-year.
  • As noted in previous reports, the Pyrites Plant (phase II) was completed on time in 4Q20 but due to Covid-19 related delays, the plant start-up was pushed backed as a result of certain technical permitting issues. We continue to anticipate that the plant will start operating in 3Q21.