Volcan's mining operations are located in the central highlands of Peru. This region is particularly propitious for mining due to its favorable geological characteristics, its proximity to Lima and its acces to highways.
Volcan counts with fives mining units: Yauli, Chungar, Alpamarca, Cerro de Pasco and Óxidos de Pasco; with nine underground mines, three open pits, seven concentrating plants with a treatment capacity of 21,900 tpd and a leaching plant of 2,500 tpd. Each unit's composition is detailed below:
The company's treated tonnage has decreased from 7.9 million in 2015 to 7.7 in 2016, mainly due to lower productions in the Yauli and Cerro de Pasco units. The production was partially compensated by the higher mineral treatment in the Chungar and Óxidos units.
The Yauli dome is a “structural window” located in the central Andes, which is home to a number of significant polymetallic operations such as Volcan’s. The world-class Morococha and San Cristobal mining districts, both located in Yauli, show mineralization related to polymetallic epithermal systems, replacement bodies and polymetallic vein systems, as well as porphyry mineralization and skarns, thus indicating the great potential of the area.
The Yauli unit is located between altitudes of 4,000 and 4,900 m.a.s.l. in the Junín department, 40 km from the city of La Oroya and 170 km from Lima, which makes it accesible by highway and railroad. The unit is made up of four underground mines and an open pit, whose mineral is treated en three concentration plants, with an installed capacity of 11,400 tpd.
During 2016, the total mineral treated over its three concentration plants reached 3.7 million tons, with ore grades of 4.85% Zn, 0.76% Pb, 0.18% Cu and 3.65 oz Ag/MT, which represented 47% of Volcan's consolidated total treated mineral.
Yauli's 2016 lower production was principally caused by the still ongoing recovery of its mine developments and preparations after limitations originated by the lower price of metals observed until Q12017.
The Chungar unit is located at 4,600 m.a.s.l. in the Pasco department, 2019 km east of Lima. It is made up of two undierground mines: Animón and Islay; and a concentration plant named Animón.
During 2016, 96 % of Chungar's treated mineral was processed in the Animón plant and the other 4%, in the San Expedito plant of the Cerro de Pasco unit, which was quarterly rented in order to process Islay's mineral production (which exceeded the capacity of the Animón plant).
Chungar's 2016 total treated mineral, including San Expedito's treatment, reached 2.0 million tons, with ore grades of 5.14% Zn, 1.11% Pb, 0.12% Cu and 2.53 oz AG/MT, which represented 26% of Volcan's consolidated total treated mineral.
The Alpamarca Unit is located 4,700 meters above sea level in the Santa Barbara de Carhuacayan district, province of Yauli, Junin Region, 182 kilometers east of Lima. Alpamarca is a polymetallic deposit of lead, zinc, silver and copper veins, consisting of the Alpamarca open pit, the Rio Pallanga underground mine and a concentrator plant known as Alpamarca. Operations at this new unit began in april of 2014.
The plant has an installed capacity of 2,500 tpd according to its design. During 2016, the mineral trated in the concentration plant came from the alpamarca open pit and reached 910 thousand tons, with an average ore grade of 1.24% Zn, 0.80% and 2.39 oz Ag/TM, which represented 12% of Volcan's consolidated total mineral treated.
In 2016, fines production reached 9.8 thousand tons of zinc, 7.0 thousand tons of lead, 0.6 thousand tons of copper and 2.0 million ounces of silver.
Cerro de Pasco Unit
The Cerro de Pasco unit is located in the Pasco depatment, approximately 295 km from Lima, and is accessible through the central highway. During 2015, the total mineral treated at the unit reached 399 thousand tons with ore grades of 3.94% Zn, 1.52% Pb, 0.05% Cu and 3.89 oz Ag/MT. In November 2015, the unit's production was internally suspended. Nevertheless, in Q32016 metallurgical testing was conducted on polymethalic stockpiles with successful results. Therefore, in November 2016 the unit resumed operations.
Óxidos de Pasco Unit
Construction of the oxide plant, located 4,200 meters above sea level in Cerro de Pasco, began in July 2012. This is the first lixiviation plant in Peru with a capacity of 2,500 tpd and required an investment of approximately USD 280 million. The plant is designed for a future expansion to 4,000 tpd and is certified by the International Cyanide Management Institute.
The plant reached its nominal production capacity of 2,500 tons per day in Q22015 and started operating at 100% of its capacity in June 2015. During 2016, the stockpile treatment in Óxidos reached 900 thousand tons, with ore grades of 10.7 oz Ag/MT and 0.2 gr Au/MT. The treated tonnage represented 12% of Volcan's consolidated total treated mineral.