Dewatering filter presses help Bolivian mine tailings management

WARRENDALE, PA, May 4, 2011 -- Three MC Press filter presses from Siemens will allow improved dry stacked tailings management at Coeur Manquiri's San Bartolome mine in Potosi, Bolivia...

May 4th, 2011
Pennwell web 300 195
The Siemens MC Press filter press is also capable of dewatering concentrates to as low as 6% moisture content. Picture: Siemens AG.

WARRENDALE, PA, May 4, 2011 -- Three MC Press filter presses from Siemens will allow improved dry stacked tailings management at Coeur Manquiri's San Bartolome mine in Potosi, Bolivia. Coeur Manquiri is a wholly owned subsidiary of the US-based Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation.

Located at the base of the Cerro Rico Mountain (Andes Mountains) near Potosi, Bolivia, the San Bartolome mine is one of the world's newest and largest pure silver mines. With a projected 14-year mine life, San Bartolome has proven and probable reserves of 120 million ounces of silver within gravel deposits at the base of the mountain. The mine produced 7.5 million ounces of silver in 2009, its first year of production. Its mountaintop location and limited available land for dewatered material made dry stacking the most viable storage option. Apart from the MC Press filter presses for dewatering, Siemens also supplies some aftermarket parts to help Coeur Manquiri ensure uninterrupted mining operations.

Dewatering tailings to higher degrees than paste produces a dry cake. These unsaturated tailings are usually hauled by truck or via conveyor to a tailings deposit where they are spread and compacted. Known as "dry stacking," this stable form of storage requires a smaller footprint, is ideal for sloped terrain, and it generally allows for easier reclamation at the end of mine life.

Coeur Manquiri also uses J-Press filter presses from Siemens at the silver recovery plant. They were installed years ago as part of the Merrill-Crowe process, which is a zinc dust precipitation method used to separate silver from a cyanide solution.

The MC Press dewatering filter presses are expected to become operational later this year.

###

More in Technologies
Water Utility Management
Meeting freshwater demand in Florida