Yamana Gold is a Canadian-based gold producer, with mines and operations in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The Chapada open pit gold-copper mine in Brazil began production in 2007. It is a relatively low-cost operation and contributes significantly to Yamana’s favorable cost structure.
Last year, Metso Outotec delivered a new Courier on-stream analyzer, which enabled Yamana operators to detect that they were losing a significant amount of valuables to tailings. In addition, the flotation circuit suffered from poor availability that was caused by the heavy sanding of the other supplier´s flotation cells. Yamana was also looking for a partner to continuously improve their operations. These factors contributed to Yamana seeking ways to further improve its flotation circuit performance.
In mid-2015 Daniel Diez, responsible for Yamana Gold business and operations development in South Americas, and the entire site processing team were seeking ways to improve the flotation circuit performance at their Chapada gold-copper mine in Brazil.
After thorough research of available technological options, including the FloatForce value calculator at www.outotec.com to estimate the potential return of investment (ROI) of a flotation retrofit project, Outotec´s experts were contacted to jointly develop a solution to solve Yamana´s operation challenges in Chapada flotation circuit.
In March 2016, Metso Outotec began turn-key retrofit of 10 existing 160m³ non-Outotec flotation cells with Outotec TankCell® and FloatForce® technology.