Andean’s San Bartolomé plant processes 1.6 million tonnes of ore per annum from three sources of mill feed:
Cerro Rico deposits are shallow deposits of quaternary silver and tin bearing ores. COMIBOL (state owned mining company) owns deposits which are old mine stockpiles and mine waste, these are licensed to Andean for removal and processing. Thirdly, the plant receives ore from small scale independent community miners providing a local market, this ore sourcing material comes from five different locations, two of which have compliant NI 43-101 measured and indicated resources.
The proportion of plant feed in 2020 was 60% from NI 43-101 compliant sources and 40% from the three non-complaint sources.
In all cases the ore from third party sources is higher grade allowing for an elevated blended head grade into our plant.
Andean’s environmental, community and safety standard operating procedures apply to all third-party ore sources and each deposit is assessed by Andean’s production geologists.
The ore sourcing business is a low risk yet fundamental part of revenue stream which allows Andean to disperse G&A costs in Bolivia delivering lower AISC. Scope to expand the ore sourcing business by signing new contracts with high-grade suppliers is ongoing.