Heap leaching is used when the ore contains a lower grade of mineral content. The basic process is as follows:. Mill processing is used when the ore contains a higher grade of mineral content. Newmont Goldcorp is committed to ensuring long-term environmental stability and leaving a positive legacy for local communities.
In part, this commitment means developing an integrated closure approach: taking into account community interests while managing technical environmental challenges and reclaiming mine-disturbed lands in a manner suitable for long-term beneficial use after our mines close. Planning for closure begins during the earliest stages of project evaluation, well before construction starts at a new site. Reclamation activities commence during the production stage and continue post-operations until closure objectives can be achieved.
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Our goal is to minimize, to the extent possible, the disturbance of land in all stages of the mine lifecycle beginning with our exploration activities. Our goal is to reclaim all areas disturbed concurrently, when land is no longer needed for future mining operations, and to leverage facilities e. Our Closure and Reclamation Technical Teams use a systematic approach to complete annual updates to closure and reclamation planning, cost estimates and concurrent reclamation opportunities.
This approach provides a globally consistent reclamation and closure process at every stage of the mine lifecycle. In developing and implementing reclamation plans, Newmont Goldcorp seeks to apply the latest thinking, technologies and approaches to effectively manage mining impacts and deliver reclamation and closure performance.go to site
Copper Mining and Processing: Life Cycle of a Mine
All operations look to balance environmental solutions with post-mining beneficial land use. To restore the landscape for future uses such as ranching, recreation or wildlife habitat protection, we progressively rehabilitate areas of disturbed land in the mining area, which offers a number of advantages:. During this stage, engagement activities with the local communities continue, and emphasize monitoring, land use and information about on-site activities.
Communities are obviously still interested in site activities and often participate in reviewing technical issues and decision making.
In some cases, a small number of people remain employed, depending on on-site activities, which often translates into local purchases of goods and services and payment of fees and property taxes. The purpose of this post-closure period is to ensure that all reclaimed mine lands, water management structures and revegetation are working as intended.
Additionally, reclamation and long-term stabilization often occur incrementally, requiring a phased approach as well as ongoing performance monitoring. There are maintenance activities to be conducted to address erosion, and monitoring to ensure that post-closure performance criteria are being met and intended land uses are being achieved. Normally, there are financial surety instruments in place, which require that Newmont demonstrate successful closure in order to be released from financial liability.
In many cases, long-term water management obligations require active water treatment and monitoring that could last for decades.
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In such cases, financial trusts are often established in cooperation with regulatory agencies to ensure adequate funding for personnel, supplies and equipment to fulfill these ongoing obligations. As the mining industry continues to evolve, Newmont Goldcorp continues to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining.
Be sure to check back in on the Lifecycle of a Mine for ongoing updates. Visit these sites to learn more about the role that mining and metals can have on sustainable development:. Lifecycle of a Mine. All operating Newmont Goldcorp mines pass through six stages during their lifetime. Learn More. Boddington - AU.
About Our Process From the discovery of buried minerals to reclaiming land after closure of a mine, our operations can sometimes span 30 years or even longer. It also marks the first contact between Newmont Goldcorp's and the community, and these interactions are critical to shaping positive future relationships. Early attention to the environmental and social characteristics of an area through baseline studies and assessments is an important way that we identify, predict and assess the type and scale of potential impacts and opportunities associated with our activities in the area.
We begin these social and environmental baseline studies as early as possible, as effective assessment of an area may require months or even years to account for seasonal and migration issues. This survey and research includes the collection of data from: water resources, flora and fauna, ecosystems, socio-economic conditions and populations, community health, air, soil and geochemistry.
We continue these studies right through to the Development and Design stage where the collected data helps to identify any project alternatives in our impact analysis. Newmont Goldcorp uses several prospecting methods to reduce the area of land to be explored:. Analyze the geochemistry of soil sediment and water. Commission airborne and ground geophysical surveys to record the response of electrical, magnetic and gravity measures in the crust below. Newmont Goldcorp's crews work to determine whether the prospective site can be safely operated in an environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible manner.
Newmont Goldcorp crews work to determine whether the prospective site can be safely operated in an environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible manner. Newmont Goldcorp engages during this phase in various ways, which can include public consultation activities driven by the social and environmental impact analysis process social and environmental impact assessments.
The decision to progress to mine construction does not sit solely with Newmont Goldcorp; the decision involves the local communities and government. In order for Newmont Goldcorp to create mutual value for our stakeholders, we must invest wisely, which is why we have a robust system in place to identify if, how and when we move opportunities through our project pipeline.
This Life of Mine
Identifies the potential business options using refined benchmark data and updates the Investment Valuation Model to identify success criteria and confirm a high-level business case. Examines a range of options for the technical and economic viability of a mineral project, factoring in mine designs, production schedules, gold recoveries, plant design, labor and other operational expenses.
Defines the scope, cost, design, production schedule and commercial terms to achieve the business case at sufficient detail for full funding. With the economic certainty of an approved project, Newmont Goldcorp can start to implement training programs and partnerships with development non-governmental organizations NGOs and government agencies to kick-start economic empowerment in the community.
Newmont uses two ore processing techniques to extract gold: mill processing and heap leaching. Low grade ore can be dumped directly on a leach pad this method is called run of mine or can be crushed and stacked on top of slightly sloped ground that has been lined with an impermeable plastic. A leaching solvent, commonly a weak cyanide solution, is then applied to the surface of the ore heap using drip irrigation. As the solvent percolates through the ore heap, the precious metals dissolve into the solution and travel to storage ponds at the base of the leach pad — a process that can take upwards of two months.
Once collected, this gold-bearing solution is pumped to process facilities where the gold is extracted using a process known as carbon stripping or collection on carbon. Cyanide levels are readjusted in the leftover or barren solution so it can be recycled back into the leach cycle. We feed ore into a series of crushers and grinding mills to reduce the size of the ore particles and expose the mineral. Water is also added, which turns the ore into a slurry. We send this slurry to leaching tanks, where we add a weak cyanide solution to the slurry, which leaches gold and silver into the solution.
The Life Cycle of a Mine
This process recovers up to 93 percent of the gold and 70 percent of the silver from the ore. Carbon granules are then added to the solution. The gold attaches to the carbon and is pulled from the solution. The carbon is later recycled. Next, we pump the gold-bearing solution through electrowinning cells, in a process that uses an electric current to recover metals from the solution.
After the ore has been processed and gold extracted, the leftover waste material, called tailings, contains small amounts of cyanide and other chemicals, so must be disposed of in an environmentally safe way. The tailings are stored in tailings dams, which are lined with impermeable layers. Although the cyanide levels in the dams are safe, steps are taken to keep wildlife away from the dams.
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Over time, the chemicals break down, the solids settle to the bottom and the water can be returned to the plant to be reused in processing. We then smelt the gold, melting it in a furnace at about 1, degrees Fahrenheit. Finally, we send the bars to a refinery for further processing into pure gold. Our reclamation and closure plans are designed to deliver:. We try not to take life too seriously. And I take nothing for granted with any of them. Nothing is guaranteed. I hope he stays healthy for a long time.
Twelve years ago, he was four months old and had undergone two open-heart surgeries with a third one looming. Four years ago, he went into heart failure and contracted a deadly lung disease. Beautifully said, Heather, as usual. I needed this reminder today — slow down and be grateful for now. Thats my plan! Great advice, Heather! You will never know how many lives you touch with these words of encouragement.
Keep it up!
Life of a mine
What a beautiful story, every day is a blessing, all we can do is take one day at a time, enjoy each day to the fullest. You are so blessed to be their with all your children…. I always look forward to these blogs. I enjoyed your book and shared it with others who enjoyed it as well. Blog away! I may not read the latest the moment it is posted, but I always read them. They make me laugh and they make me cry.
Heather, I love the updates, antics and just knowing about your family. You are a talented story teller with an amazing story. Keep it coming! Thank you for sharing your life and struggles, even when you make the almost impossible look so damn easy! I love falling in love with your boys a little more each time I read your blogs.
The way you love those boys is infectious and will probably be exactly enough for Coleman to outlive his beautiful, smart, sweet and funny mommy! You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.
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