(Troy 100% through Troy Resources Argentina Ltd)
The Casposo operation comprises of an open pit, underground mine and a processing plant.
Troy employs a total of 375 people, 67% reside in the District of Calingasta near the mine site, while the remaining employees mainly live in San Juan City and work on a rotational schedule. The operation currently employs 368 Contractors.
Occupational Health and Safety
Troy Resources Argentina operates a comprehensive Health and Safety system and is dedicated to the pursuit of a “zero harm” environment and is working towards ISO14001 certification.
The Casposo Mine maintains a medical clinic at site. The clinic is staffed with a doctor and nurse 24 hours a day and works closely with the Safety Department. The mine has one ambulance and one firefighting trailer at site to attend to any emergency in the mining area or to assist the local community. The Company also works closely with the local Calingasta Hospital, 30km from site, which itself has several ambulances, operating theater, x-ray and care facilities. In collaboration with the hospital and the community the Company has donated ground in the village for the construction of a new hospital.
Environment and Reforestation
The mine is located within semi-arid region where there is per annum on average 90mm participation and 2,103mm evaporation due to the mine’s location 2,400m above sea level in the Andes Mountains. However, despite this there is an adequate supply of ground water derived from rain in the summer and on the rare occasion, flurries of snow in the winter. As a result of the extreme and arid environment, water is considered to be a premium resource and is recycled where possible. This arid, scrub environment naturally does not permit the growth of trees at the Casposo elevation. Therefore hardy, fast growing trees with local bush and grass verities have been planted close to mine buildings. Once mining is stopped the local plant species will continue growing unsupported. Fresh water ponds have been built away from the operation with local bush and grass species to attract wildlife and keep wildlife away from the mining operation. Process ponds feeding the plant and underground have been fenced off.
To ensure and maintain the transparency of the Company, every six months volunteers from the local community are invited to receive an environmental induction and participate in the water monitoring programme. Water samples are taken from designated river and stream positions and monitoring holes close to the mine. These water samples are taken with participating volunteers, to the independent laboratory, San Juan University Hydrology Department, where they witness the testing of the samples and return a summary of the results. In addition to this initiative Troy completes dust and water monitoring at regular intervals throughout each month. Vibration monitoring is completed at the mine twice a year.
In the support of the mining and processing activity all hydrocarbons and hazardous waste is removed from site and is disposed of in San Juan City in accordance with San Juan Province and Argentinean mining legislation.
Casposo is working with San Juan University Biological Department to ensure the Company is planting the correct trees, bushes and grasses. Studies are also completed on flora and fauna species at site and around the mine several times per year. San Juan University monitor bio-indicator species and the impact the project has on the environment and in turn recommend re-vegetation programmes to rehabilitate affected areas.
From the start, Casposo has been committed to be a part of the Calingasta Community. Since Troy Argentina’s incitement, Casposo has changed from an exploration project to an operating mine. Troy committed itself to employing 50% of the Company’s workforce from the local community; today Troy employs 67% of its employees from Calingasta.
The Company takes social responsibility extremely seriously and with the aid of the Troy Calingasta Social Office, Troy actively works and communicates with the local community and elected officials. To date the Company has invested US$14,500,000 in connecting Calingasta to Energy San Juan electrical system and the national grid. Troy has helped connect many Calingasta homes with portable water, investing Arg$1,300,000 for materials for the installation of 9.1km of underground piping.
In addition to these projects, Troy has supported local schools, school teachers, school children, clubs and social groups. Troy is also a prominent participant in local events and focuses on the key health and social issues that impact the area. For the first two years of Casposo production, Troy paid a 1% tax on sales to the “Fideicomiso”. A group consisting of San Juan Government, the Calingasta District and Troy representatives determine where to allocate funds to benefit the local community as a whole. As the mine enters into its third year, tax has now been increased to 1.5% of sales.
Mining Operation - Key facts
Open Pit Mine
- The open pit mine is comprised of two separate deposits, Kamila and Mercado, separated by a distance of approximately 1km. Mining of the Kamila Main Pit commenced in 2010 while Mercado is due to start before the end of 2013.
- The Kamila Pit continues to be mined in two stages with the preliminary pushback (Stage 1) continuing another 25 vertical metres, whilst mining of the final pushback (Stage 2) commenced in March 2012.
- Mining of the Kamila Southeast/B Vein Pit has been completed, while the Mercado Pit (Stage 3) will be mined towards the end of open pit operations due to lower grades than the Kamila Main Pit.
- The open pit has 2 Atlas Copco ROC F9’s production drills, 5 Volvo A40 Articulated Dump Trucks, 2 E460 Volvo Excavators and 1 Komatsu D155 dozer.
- In 2013, Troy commenced underground development via a 5m x 5.5m ramp decline system.
- The primary portal for the underground mine has been positioned to sit inside the already mined Kamila Southeast/B Vein Pit.
- Two underground mining methodologies are currently used to extract the ore. The majority of underground stoping blocks will be mined using the long-hole retreat stoping method, with about 10% of the mine being more conducive to the cut and fill mining method due to the ground conditions.
The Casposo underground mine moved to owner operator from 1 August 2013. To enable this the Company has the following machinery on site:
- 3 x Tramrock Dd421 Twin Boom Jumbos (operational)
- 1 x Atlas Copco Simba 1254 Long Hole Drill Rig (operational)
- 1 x Sandvick Solo DL321 Long Hole Drill Rig (to be commissioned)
- 2 x Caterpillar RG1600 (operational)
- 1 x Caterpillar RG1700 (operational)
- 1 x Caterpillar RG1300 (operational)
- 1 x Walden AFX5000 Anfo Loader (to be delivered)
- 1 x Walden SLX5000 Scissor Lift (to be delivered)
- 2 x Volvo A40 Articulated Dump Trucks (operational)
- 1 x Volvo L90 Front End Loader (operational)
- Boart Longyear LM75 Underground Diamond Drill Rig (to be commissioned)
- All of the heavy mining equipment has automatic fire suppression systems installed.
- The Casposo Project recovers gold and silver dore bullion.
- The dore is transported to a refining facility in Brampton, Ontario, Canada for further processing into high purity gold and silver.
- The processing and recovery method is well known and widespread throughout the gold and silver mining industry namely Merrill Crowe.
- The plant has a nameplate throughput of 400,000tpa of ore. The ore is crushed and fed to the primary SAG Mill and secondary Mill for regrind to produce a pulp. The pulp is thickened and fed to leach tanks to bring into solution the gold and silver. The gold/silver pregnant licker is separated from the pulp and using the Merrill Crowe system a gold/silver cake is produced. This cake is dried using special ovens and fired in a furnace to produce a gold and silver dore. The tailings waste from the plant is cleaned and with the aid of a vacuum system solution and water is recovered. The tailings are deposited on top of a clay and HDPE impermeable membrane. Any water generated from the tailings area is recovered and sent back to the plant for processing.