Ramp-up activities are currently focused on steadily increasing the plant throughput rate at the Aripuanã mine in Brazil. (Photo: Nexa Resources)

Ramp-up activities at Nexa Resources’ Aripuanã world-class polymetallic mine in Mato Grosso, Brazil, have safely started and the demobilization of construction teams is under way. Aripuanã is one of the industry’s most sustainable mining projects, with nearly 100% of water recirculation and the use of dry stacking and cemented paste backfill for the waste material, the company said.

“It is a remarkable accomplishment, and we would like to congratulate the entire team for their commitment to delivering the project,” President and CEO Ignacio Rosado said. “Aripuanã is currently Nexa’s largest investment in Brazil, which contributes to the social and economic development of the region.”

The is third flagship mine for Nexa and is also one of the few zinc projects in the world, Rosado added.

Ramp-up activities are currently focused on steadily increasing the plant throughput rate. With more than 650,000 metric tons of ore available in stockpiles, enough to cover six months of the estimated ramp-up curve, the milling capacity utilization rate is expected to reach an average of 30-40% in the third quarter 70-80% by December. Full production is expected in the second quarter of 2023.

Following the commissioning performance stability plan, process knowledge, ore recovery and asset reliability, commercial production is expected to be achieved by the fourth quarter.

The mine is already fully operational, and underground activities are focused on developing and preparing areas for mining operations and increasing mineral reserves with drilling in new areas, seeking operational stability during the entire operation. Mine development has also achieved the expected monthly output of 1,000 meters (100% of capacity). The guidance for 2022 remains unchanged, at 14,000 mt to 23,000 mt of zinc, 1,600 mt to 2,300 mt of copper, 5,000 mt to 7,700 mt of lead, and 300,000 to 500,000 ounces of silver.

Aripuanã consists of three main mineralized zones — Arex, Link, and Ambrex — with an estimated average annual production of 70,000 mt of zinc, 24,000 mt of lead, 4,000 mt of copper, 1.8 million oz of silver, and 14,500 oz of gold over a life-of-mine of 11 years.