At the Sokor Project, CNMC is a pit mining heap leach operation.
Apart from increasing its leaching capacity with the commissioning of a third leach yard to further boost gold production, CNMC intends to further streamline the production process to reduce wastage of raw material thereby reducing gold production cost and to enhance profitability. CNMC also intends to leverage on its economies of scale resulting from increasing production capacity to lower material costs from key suppliers. Additionally, plans are in place to accelerate exploration activities with the aim of increasing gold, silver, lead and zinc resources and reserves in the Sokor Gold Project.
At CNMC, our mining engineers will determine, using exploration data, if there is sufficient gold deposits under the surface to make the mining economically feasible; the type of mine needed; the physical obstacles to getting to the gold; and the potential impact of a mine on the area's wildlife and environment.
Before the gold can be mined, supportive infrastructure must be created. Since mines are often in remote locations, an entire infrastructure – roads, administrative offices, equipment storage areas – must be built. The plans for each mine require the green light by a number of authorities at each relevant level of the government.
The mine site infrastructure includes a processing area where the ore is crushed and undergoes various processes depending on the nature of the associated minerals and then the loose rock is sent to the appropriate processing location.
In the leaching circuit, gold is extracted from extraction solution and deposited onto activated carbon, from which the gold is then chemically stripped. The impure gold is then melted into doré bars, which contains about 90% pure gold. These bars are usually shipped to a refinery where they undergo further processing.
The refining process strips out the remaining impurities from the gold and convent the end product to 99.99% pure gold.