Cerro Nahuatl Iron Ore Mine in Colima, Mexico – A Conceptual Closure Plan

SRK has been developing mine closure plans for different mining companies in Mexico, mainly focused on gold and silver ore projects. Ternium, a leading iron and steel company in Latin America with operations in Argentina, Mexico, United States and Guatemala, commissioned SRK to generate a mine closure plan for its mining operations at Cerro Nahuatl, in the Mexican state of Colima. According to Mexican mining records, this is the first time an iron ore mine company has conducted a closure plan in this country.

The Cerro Nahuatl mine is completing its operation this year and will begin closure activities by the last quarter of 2008. Operations at the mine site are compact, since the ore body was located in a single hill isolated in a small valley. The major challenge at Cerro Nahuatl is the geographic location, which is characterized by hurricanes and earthquakes. As well, a river passes close to areas where the tailings dam and part of the waste rock dump are placed, adding another factor to be considered in the long-term physical stability of the site.

Fortunately, chemical stability is assured, since the iron ore is processed by magnetic separation. No reagents are added to the concentration process, and the ore and waste rock have shown no potential to generate acid drainage.

Operations at the Cerro Nahuatl mine include a processing plant where the iron ore is concentrated by magnetic separation. Then the concentrate is sent through a pipeline to the small town of Jala, where the concentrate is loaded into rail cars and shipped to Estación Alzada for pelletizing.

Our participation at Cerro Nahuatl is evidence of the leading role SRK has taken in mine closure planning in other countries, and now in Mexico.

Dante Ramirez: dramirez@srk.com
Terry Braun: tbraun@srk.com


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