The San Bartolomé plant treats ore from Andean’s Cerro Rico deposits, mine reclamation projects and its ore sourcing business. The plant pre-processes (washes) the ore to remove the Ag -8M fraction which increases the head grade of mill feed. In 2020, mill feed was 1.5 million tonnes (Including eight weeks shut for Covid-19). Head grade averages 132g/t and Silver produced 6 Moz. Metallurgical recovery averages 84%.
The plant is an established operation of 12 years de-risked technically and having earned its social license to operate. San Bartolome was commissioned by Coeur in June 2008 at a cost of US$180 million, it is the only oxide processing plant of scale in Bolivia.
San Bartolomé has both a dry stack facility (DSF) and a wet (fines) tailings storage (FDF). The DSF receives tailings from the main process circuit and the FDF receives the Ag-8M tail from the pre-washing process.
Tailing's design was by Fluor Daniels and annual inspections are conducted by Knight Piesold. Dams have full structural monitoring systems.
Budgeted sustaining capital is $15 million will provide capacity for five years production.
During 2021 a review of tailings’ design will be completed to optimise the operation. Andean will also be assessing adoption of ICMM’s Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management, (GISTM).