Commissioning of the significantly refurbished and upgraded processing facilities at Griffin Mining's Caijiaying zinc-gold project in Henan Province is under way. This process follows the suspension of processing announced on August 13, to provide for the expansion. Two 350,000-metric-ton-per-year (mt/y) primary ball mills, new and larger flotation cells, and increased storage and handling facilities are being commissioned using the crushed ore available.
The new, three-stage crushing circuit and backup generators were expected to be commissioned on November 19 with ore that has continued to be mined and stockpiled for the past three months. Annual nameplate throughput of 750,000 mt was expected to be re-instated at this point.
The upgrade to the main processing facilities is scheduled to be completed in mid-December upon the delivery and in-stallation of the new, 800,000-mt/y primary ball mill. Griffin hopes that demarcation issues between competing Chinese power suppliers for an enhanced power supply to the processing facilities will be resolved by that time. It is expected that annual throughput will reach 1.5 million mt by the summer of 2015, double the previous capacity.
The company said the upgrade continues to fall within the capital amount budgeted, however, due to the four-week delay in commissioning, annual production of zinc metal in concentrate for 2014 is expected to be lower than that achieved in 2013.