May 31, 2011

Gold mine expansion

In May 2011, La Mancha made a decision to move forward toward construction of a mining plant starting in the fall of 2011. The Hassai mine complex has over a dozen open pit mines. A few of them have more gold and copper that can be extracted.

This expansion requires the construction of a 165 kilometer water pipeline from the Nile River. It will be 50 cm in diameter. The pipeline will cost about $44 million US. Until now they have been using rainfall water stored behind a dam, and piped water from boreholes.

Also required is more electricity, and a 77 kilometer line will be built to connect with the existing Atbara - Port Sudan line. The mine will need 34 megawatts of power. The powerline will cost about $19 million US. Until now they have been using onsite generators.

The overall costs for expansion will be about $187 million US.

In addition, a document published by LaMancha states that more people will be needed to work on the expanded mine site.

18.9.3    Accommodation
The existing Hassai camp is located approximately 3 km from the current heap leach operation. This camp currently accommodates 600 personnel (expatriates and locals) and includes accommodation, mess hall, bakery, local market and recreational facilities. On-site communication allows mobile phone and internet access.
A new accommodation village will be developed for the CIL and VMS plants, to accommodate workforce requirements. A 200 person camp has been allowed for in the capital cost estimate by Sedgman for the CIL operation, while accommodation for a further 500 persons is included by AMEC in the VMS concentrator estimate.
 The first camp for the concentrator operations includes 126 labourers, 74 maintenance men and 10 professionals. The mine operators currently hire Hadendowa Beja.

 Gold reserves will eventually end, and the mines will be abandoned. La Mancha developed this interesting chart that shows metal production may end in only 14 years.

Source material for this article comes from various documents on

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