By John Willis
SRK Chile is managing a pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Dominga Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold Project located in Region IV of Chile. The project is owned by Andes Iron SpA. Prior to the PFS, SRK managed a scoping study for the project, with the metallurgical testwork supervised out of SRK’s UK office.
A key initial metallurgical objective for the project was to determine the relative value of the contained metals, as this dictates the focus of flowsheet development. For Dominga, the iron mineralisation holds the greater value. The primary mineralisation types are magnetite (iron) and chalcopyrite (copper).
The metallurgical testwork in the scoping study considered the iron and copper separately, with copper flotation conducted by SGS in Chile and iron magnetic separation testwork conducted by SGS Lakefield in Canada. Further testwork on the oxidised and transitional iron mineralisation was conducted by SGA in Germany. The scoping study testwork set the initial parameters for the integrated flowsheet, incorporating iron recovery by magnetic separation, followed by copper (and gold) recovery by flotation.
The PFS study testwork program is ongoing. A total of 13 metallurgical domains have been identified and are being tested separately. The bulk of the testwork, undertaken by SGS Lakefield in Canada, concerns the integrated iron-copper flowsheet developed in the scoping study, together with further testing to assess the properties of the process ore that affect tailings storage, environmental impact and the transport of both concentrates and tailings by slurry pipeline. SGS in Chile is undertaking comminution testwork, and SGA in Germany is taking on further flowsheet development work on the oxide and mixed (transitional) ore types.
SRK would like to thank Andes Iron for their permission to discuss the Dominga project in this edition of SRK News.
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