Salares Norte, a Chilean greenfield project of the South-African Gold Fields company, has ordered three Metso Vertical Plate Pressure Filters with all the ancillary equipment for dry tailings processing. The order has been booked in Metso’s Q2 orders received, and the filters are expected to be commissioned in October 2022.
“Gold Fields’ vision is to be the global leader in sustainable gold mining. The Salares Norte greenfield project is located 4500 meters above sea level in the Andean Mountains, where water is scarce and needs to be used wisely. 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,” explains Francois Swanepoel, Technical Manager at Salares Norte.
This is an exciting project also for Metso, as we consider dry tailings as the most socially responsible and economically viable solution for tailings management.
“We are proud to be chosen for this project. Besides the front-running tailings management solution, Salares Norte has challenged its partners to come up with other innovative solutions. The location of the plant at a height of almost 5 kilometers above the sea level comes with its own unique challenges. 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,” says Patricio Mujica Dominguez, Senior Manager, Mining Equipment at Metso.