In the middle of the debate over mining, a Mendoza deputy showed what a mine is like inside

The representative from Mendoza, Guillermo Mosso, traveled to San Juan and showed what a mine is like inside and was in favor of mining activity in the province of Mendoza. He spoke with the workers of the mine and exposed him to “speak with fundamentals and knowledge” about a burning issue in Mendoza.

“I visited the project Guacamayo in San Juan, with the idea of ​​knowing what the mining industry is all about. I decided to get involved and investigate the subject, talking to experts and seeing with my own eyes how a mine produces. Because I think it is necessary to speak with foundation and knowledge,” Mosso said of his experience in the neighboring province.

“I am convinced that we must deepen the diversification of Mendoza’s productive matrix, incorporating more activities that allow job creation and wealth generation. Mining is one of them,” he said.

“In three notes (cycle provided on its own website) I will tell about the production processes involved in the project Macaw. On this occasion, I will show a first tour of the mine, from the facilities for its workers to an explanation of how the ore is separated from the crushed rock (leaching), “he said.

What is Guacamayo?

The deposit, owned by Minas Argentinas SA, is a gold exploitation located in the department of Jachalto the north of the neighboring province, and is located at a height of between 1,500 and 2,000 meters above sea level, 110 km from the city of San José de Jáchal and 260 km from the city of San Juan.?

The proven and probable reserves of the mine Macaw they reach 2,065,000 ounces of gold and the resources that are projected to be consolidated as future reserves total 1,723,000 ounces. The operation plans to produce approximately 150,000 ounces per year throughout its estimated useful life of 10 years.

The construction cost of the project was 280 million dollars, completed in 2008. During the construction stage, it generated more than 1,500 jobs and currently in its production phase, which began in April 2009, it employs some 650 people directly and 350 from contractor companies. The operation of Macaw It consists of an open pit gold mine and an underground one.

Deputy Mosso.

Entrance to the complex

“Upon arrival at the checkpoint, the security measures to enter are powerfully striking due to how strict they are, as if it were an airport. The controls that include luggage scanning, a metal detector, a prohibition on the entry of alcohol and drugs, are carried out both at the entrance and at the exit of the complex”, the deputy showed.

“Once entered, on the way to the administration offices, we pass next to an energy transformer station and one of the three crushing plants that Gualcamayo has, where the rocks are processed (ground) until they obtain the required caliber” said the legislator.

“In addition to showing us the different facilities and telling us about the processes that we would observe, Marcelo explained in detail the leaching process, by which the ore is separated from the crushed rock. This is accumulated in piles, inside pools that have a material very thick special insulation,” he explained. Then, those piles are irrigated with a cyanide solution of between 0.01% and 0.05% cyanide per liter of water, a proportion that would be like putting about 30 sachets of 1-gram sweetener in a 34,000-liter Australian tank. . This solution settles and drags the ore that is later collected in closed circuits to continue with the operation.

The offices

The administrative offices are located next to the mine plaza, next to the micro hospital. The day of our visit, most of the administrative employees were free because until the previous day they had been with the consultants for the process of updating the ISO 14001 Environmental Management standards. In its corridors you can see the different international certifications as well as the company’s Mission and Values.

medical services

Before starting our tour, Dr. Federico Lux, who is in charge of the micro hospital, gave us a mandatory medical check-up for all visitors to the mine. Then he detailed the equipment available in his area

Gualcamayo has a micro-hospital of medium complexity that is equipped with X-ray equipment, ultrasound, defibrillators, special kits for pulmonary assistance in case of fire and cyanide treatment.

Quarters for mine staff

650 direct employees work in the Gualcamayo complex, with a work regime of seven days in the camp and seven days off, with a 12-hour rotating shift. They live comfortably in the apartments that have been built for this purpose. In addition, they have a gym and the aforementioned medical services area.

The gym and dining rooms

The gym is a large and well-used space that has the necessary equipment for the workers to carry out different exercise routines and thus be able to complement their stay at the mine with a daily exercise routine.

The mine has 3 dining rooms that are distributed in different points, where the 4 daily meals are served for the staff.

Gualcamayo has the peculiarity of having rock extraction operations both in open pit (or open pit mine), as well as in underground galleries. In the next note we will be telling about both processes.

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