Compañía de Minas Buenaventura S.A.A., Peru’s largest publicly traded, precious metals mining company, announced it has commissioned the processing plant for the Tambomayo project located in the district of Tapay, province of Caylloma (Arequipa). The ramp-up started immediately and obtained the first doré bar on December 30.

The metallurgical process at Tambomayo consists of primary crushing, grinding and cyanidation in tanks that later will be processed using a Merrill-Crowe plant. The precipitate will be dried and smelted obtaining doré-bars (gold and silver). The tailings of the cyanidation process will be treated by flotation to recover lead and zinc concentrates.

The $362 million Tambomayo project has reserves and resources of 2.6 million metric tons (mt) containing 700,000 oz of gold and 22.9 million oz of silver. Construction of the mine and the 1,500-mt/h plant was completed in 36 months.

Buenaventura expects Tambomayo to produce 140,000-160,000 oz/y of gold and 3.3-3.8 million oz/y of silver. The company said the operatin should achieve commercial production by April.