Chapada is an open pit copper-gold mine located 270 km northwest of Brasília in Goiás state, Brazil. The mine reached commercial production in 2007 and is an open pit truck and shovel operation, with ore being treated through a flotation plant with capacity of 22 Mt per annum. The Chapada mine plan has three open pit mining areas including Corpo and Corpo Sul, which are currently being mined, and the Suruca deposit that Yamana plans to develop in the future. Exploration is ongoing to develop near mine targets at Suruca SW, Suruca NE, Baru and Interpits.
Chapada produced approximately 127 million pounds of copper as well as 120,000 ounces of gold and 253,000 ounces of silver during 2017. Recoveries averaged 80% for copper and 55% for gold. The Proven and Probable Reserves at Chapada total 621.8 Mt at a grade of 0.25% containing 3.5 billion pounds of copper (0.21 – 0.3 g/t AuEq cut-off). The technical report released in early 2018 outlined a life of mine plan for 29 years of copper and gold production.
Yamana completed studies to evaluate several development opportunities at Chapada during 2018. These opportunities range in scope from plant optimization initiatives to enhance copper and gold recoveries, to a plant expansion to bring forward cash flows and pit wall pushbacks to expose higher grade ore zones. Based on the results from the studies, Yamana is progressing the opportunities to the next stage of evaluation and development.
The studies on expanding the Chapada processing plant capacity up to 32 Mt per annum have concluded that higher throughput can be achieved with the installation of new equipment. A Feasibility Study has been initiated for the plant expansion and is expected to be completed in early 2019.
During the first half of 2018, Yamana completed 14,778 metres of exploration drilling focused on Suruca, Sucupira, Baru, and Santa Cruz. Yamana reported that results from the drilling support the potential for mineral resource expansion at both Suruca, Sucupira and Baru by year end.
Yamana has completed studies and evaluations on several development opportunities at Chapada. These included plant optimizations initiatives, plant expansions, and pit wall pushbacks. Further details on these opportunities are expected to be available in early 2019 with the completion of a Feasibility Study.