A Metso-VPA-filter.
A Metso-VPA-filter.

Salares Norte, a greenfield gold mine located in Chile’s Andean Mountains, has ordered three Metso vertical plate pressure filters with all ancillary equipment for dry tailings processing.

The filters are expected to be commissioned in October 2022. Salares Norte is scheduled to start production in 2023.

“The Salares Norte greenfield project is located 4500 metres above sea level in the Andean Mountains, where water is scarce and needs to be used wisely,” said Francois Swanepoel, technical manager at Salares Norte. “To minimize the use of water and improve the physical and chemical stability of our tailings, we have decided to adopt filtered tailings for the project. Salares Norte will be a benchmark plant for dry tailings processing.”

“The location of the plant at a height of almost 5 kms above the sea level comes with its own unique challenges,” said Patricio Mujica Dominguez, senior manager, Mining Equipment at Metso. “For example, the design and transportation of the equipment as well as commissioning needs to be done with special care. To save manpower at such a high altitude, Metso will semi-assemble the filters in its Service Centers and deliver them in six specially designed easy-to-assemble modules to the site.”

Salares Norte is owned by South African gold mining firm Gold Fields.