The Asia Miner

OCT-DEC 2016

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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WHEN it comes to the Andes, it's not hard to imagine the challenges of raw material storage . High winds kick up dust, punishing snow loads blanket the region and torturous slopes render conventional construc- tion methods useless . What's a stockpile operator to do? Over the decades, mining and cement manufacturers have come to know and trust Geometrica . Thanks to the versatility of Freedome® technology, dozens of Geometrica domes and barrel vaults have been installed at various elevations in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and other regions of the Andes . Traditional post and beam structures may be impossible to build in these rugged environments, but Geometrica's unique system is ideal for projects that can soar in altitudes of more than 14,000 ft (4267 metres) . No matter how high up on a mountain the structure may sit, Free- domes remain today's premier eco-friendly means to enclose stock- piles . The raw bulk, itself, may lie within a sprawling and irregular yard, yet Freedome technology allows for the design of oddly shaped domes on any terrain. The barrier-free interior allows the free-flow of traffic, personnel, vehicles, conveyers and other equipment - often while the pile is in operation . This equates to zero downtime and en- ables manufacturers to continue production while storage solutions are being constructed . Following are a few projects that exemplify domes and vaults in the Andes: Planta Cerrillos While Chile is known for wine production and copper mining, the two haven't always 'mixed' . Just 30km southeast of Copiapó City are grape plantations and families who work in the vineyards and mines . When dust from ore handling and crushing affected the landscape and crops, it was time to cover the plant and completely enclose crushing operations . The freestyle dome at Planta Cerrillos was the perfect solution for the sprawling stockpile, surrounding equipment and conveyors . In the main area, a 90 metre Freedome encompassed more than 5000 square metres in a shape that was irregular after several expansions over the years . Two circular domes (30 metres and 40 metres) were also built to control dust and emissions, proving that industry and na- ture can coexist . Geometrica designs and builds customised covers for ring stock- piles, conical piles and homogenous longitudinal beds of all dimen- sions in the Andes . Out of this demand for bulk storage came the evo- lution of next generation clear-span design . Innovative thinking, rigorous research and advanced technology have led to the installation of fully clad latticed shell monuments that can be built directly over any variety of stockpile, while often weighing one-third of a comparably-sized con- ventional steel structure . El Brocal The El Brocal project exemplifies strength and beauty high in the Peru- vian Andes . Peru's largest publicly traded precious metals mining com- pany was committed to preserving the environment while envisioning a new copper ore storage building in Cerro de Pasco . Geometrica designed a longitudinal storage structure with a 58 metre span to cover the ore and conveyor equipment . Even in the constrained space, El Brocal management mandated that construction take place with min- imal interruption to its operations. Geometrica completed the project without loss of production . Geometrica structures take advantage of 3-dimensional structural behaviour . They are built of lightweight prefabricated tubing in galvan- ised steel or aluminium . Each dome or barrel vault is custom designed in Geometrica's computer-based manufacturing facilities . Then each tubular member is bar-coded, containerised, shipped and connected on site with patented aluminium hubs . These structures are incredibly strong and versatile, and the system is designed to withstand whatev- er climate challenges the region has in store . Whipping winds, snow flurries, white-knuckle slopes and hazardous bulk are no match for a Freedome . San Cristobal This open-pit silver, lead and zinc mine requires the transportation of 150,000 tonnes of rock and the processing of 40,000 tonnes of min- eral daily in Bolivia . When the mine needed additional zinc storage, Geometrica designed and built a 142 metre circular dome, the largest of its kind in Bolivia . San Cristobal is more than 4000 metres above sea level in the Al- tiplano of the Andes . More than 88,000 galvanised steel tubes and 30,000 aluminium hubs form the domes, shipments of which consist- ed of containerised crates of parts . The Geometrica system requires no welding, as the prefabricated tubes slide easily into the aluminium hubs and hold fast . The precise yet simple assembly process allowed the mine to continue to operate in the midst of dome construction and made it easier to assemble the building in an environment subject to high winds. Barrick Zaldivar The Barrick Zaldivar Mine is an open-pit, heap-leach copper mine in Region II of northern Chile at an elevation of 3300 metres . Located about 1400km north of Santiago and 175km southeast of Antofa- gasta, it required a circular dome to store minerals . Barrick chose Geometrica to design and construct their structure be- cause Geometrica is one of the world's best known dome builders; Geometrica had considerable experience with these types of domes in Chile; Geometrica offered a lower lifetime price than competitive struc- tures; and the installation program was fast, even while the stockpile remained in operation . A 95 metre dome now surrounds the stockpile and safeguards the surrounding habitat from air and run-off pollutants . Don't move mountains ... build over them Interior view of the barrel vault application for ore storage at El Brocal . COMPANY PROFILE - Geometrica

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