Goldcorp has achieved first gold at Peñasquito’s Pyrite Leach Project (PLP). Commissioning commenced in the third quarter of 2018 and the PLP is now processing 100% of the existing plant tailings. The PLP plant is operating 24 hours a day and is continuing the planned ramp-up process, the company said.

“PLP was a major investment decision for Goldcorp and one of the first that went through our Goldcorp Investment Framework,” said David Garofalo, president and CEO. “We are very pleased with the results in completing the project both ahead of budget and schedule. We are already moving forward with a post investment review where we can take our lessons learned to continue to improve our framework and overall capital allocation strategy.”

PLP has been delivered with more than 9.5 million site-hours, zero lost time incidents and an industry-leading all injury frequency rate of 0.09.

According to Goldcorp, commissioning was achieved two quarters ahead of schedule and commercial production is now expected by the end of the year, two quarters ahead of schedule. The project was also completed 9% under budget.

The Pyrite Leach Project is expected to recover approximately 35% of the gold and 42% of the silver currently reporting to the tailings and is expected to add production of more than 1 million ounces (oz) of gold and 45 million oz of silver over the current life of the mine. The PLP plant processes the existing plant tails, feeding a sequential flotation and leach circuit with precious metals recovered through a Merrill Crowe process, producing doré as the final product. Tails from the new plant will report to the existing tailings storage facility. As the plant is ramped up to achieve design recovery, there will be ongoing optimization of the circuit chemistry and regrind performance.

The carbon pre-flotation circuit (CPP) was commissioned in the second quarter and the circuit has now treated 6 million metric tons (mt) of high-carbon ore. CPP achieved commercial production on October 1. The CPP circuit currently consists of three stages of flotation to remove organic carbon from the cyclone overflow prior to the existing lead flotation circuit.