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:: Albion for Ararat, Armenia
Xstrata Technology has recently been working on two feasibility studies for the Zod project in Armenia. The client for both studies is GeoProMining LLC. The feasibility studies on the Zod project, based near the town of Ararat in western Armenia, involves investigating the refurbishment of an existing plant as well as the potential of an Albion Process oxidative leach plant.
The Zod gold/silver deposit is situated in eastern Armenia and is mined by an open cut mine. Ore is then railed 240 km to the Ararat processing plant near the Turkish border. The Zod deposit originally consisted of weathered oxide ores overlying deeper sulphides. The oxide ores have now been largely depleted, and the operation is starting to process the deeper, more refractory sulphide ores. Arsenopyrite and pyrite are the major source of gold and silver. To improve gold and silver recovery from the sulphide ores, GeoProMining is examining the potential of an Albion Process oxidative leach at Ararat.
The first part of the project involves a feasibility study to investigate the existing concentrator at the Ararat site, with options being examined to increase the throughput of the concentrator from 500,000 tpa to 1,000,000 tpa. The existing concentrator was constructed in 1973 to process local gold ores, and requires modernisation and upgrading. XT is also assisting GeoProMining in the study looking at various options for upgrading infrastructure between the Zod mine and the processing facility in Ararat. The second part of the project involves studying the use of an Albion Process, which would oxidise the flotation concentrate ahead of a conventional CIL plant to improve gold recovery. XT has also been working with Core Resources, the owner's representative, on the feasibility study.
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